What is harassment?

On Behalf of | Dec 23, 2022 | employment law |

When you go to work, you want to be able to do your job without being affected by the inappropriate actions of others. Workplace harassment takes many different forms, and you may not be aware that what you are experiencing is more than just an annoyance or rude behavior. You could be the victim of harassment, but you do not have to suffer through this in silence or without recourse.

It is beneficial for all North Carolina employees to know what types of behaviors count as harassment and what they can do if they are experienced mistreatment of any kind. No matter the nature of your job, you have certain rights, and this includes the right to file a claim in the event of harassment. Your employer and others may be responsible for what you experienced while in the workplace.

Disruptive, inappropriate and aggressive behaviors

According to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, harassment includes unwelcome conduct that occurs on the basis of someone’s gender, religion, sexual preferences, age, disability, national origin and other factors. You may experience harassment as retaliation for filing a workers’ compensation claim, reporting misconduct and more, and it can come from employers, co-workers, third parties and others. Harassment is against the law when the following happen:

  • The offensive conduct becomes a condition of your employment.
  • The conduct is severe enough to create a work environment that is abusive, hostile or intimidating.

Harassment is not always obvious and blatant. It can happen in more subtle ways that others may not notice. If you suspect that what you are experiencing counts as harassment, you may benefit from carefully documenting what you are going through so that you are able to validate a potential claim in the future. If you are uncertain, you have the right to speak about your concerns and seek an understanding of the legal options available to you.

Is your employer to blame?

Employers are accountable for harassment that happens in the workplace and the development of a hostile work environment that negatively impacts employees. Victims of any type of workplace harassment or discriminatory behavior will benefit from taking immediate action to protect their rights and seek justice. By taking action, you can make your workplace a better and safer place for yourself and other employees.