Understanding Different Types of Harassment
The Other Types of Harassment
Our last article, Sexual Harassment Training: How to Avoid Harassment, we dove into what can be considered sexual harassment, and what you can do as an employer to prevent that kind of behavior. It is extremely important to have a plan of action in the event of a sexual harassment issue, and it is imperative it is handled in a timely manner.
In light of recent allegations and media coverage of sexual harassment suits, the failure of major companies of having a sexual harassment protocol is very apparent.
Many people may believe that sexual harassment is the one and only type of harassment that can happen in the workplace, but in reality, although sexual harassment is perhaps one of the most common forms of harassing behavior, it is not the only one.
In fact, many states and local governments have very specific anti-discrimination laws that also contain provisions that prohibit harassment for what are sometimes unique classes of individuals.
Shutting Down the Rumors
Despite popular belief, there are few myths that should be shut down about sexual harassment:
- Only those in a position of power can be accused of sexual harassment; This is not the case. A harasser could be your coworker, agent, or even client. Did you know about the harassment as an employer? Did you implement your sexual harassment protocol? If you failed to take action, the ball is unfortunately in your court, and you could be faced with repercussions.
- Sexual harassment is only considered at/in the workplace, nowhere else; Teachers, coaches, professors and any other persons that hold any sort of position of authority can sexually harass students. For example, a teacher can sexually harass a student.
- Sexual harassment doesn’t occur between members of the same sex; A man can sexually harass another man, a woman can sexually harass another woman, – the Supreme Court has ruled that sexual harassment can occur between people of the same sex.
Other types of harassment include:
- Race, Religion, Sex, and National Origin
- Status as a Veteran (either is not recognized or is discriminated against for status.)
- Sexual Orientation and Marital Status
- Gender Identification
- Political Beliefs
- Criminal History
- Occupation or Sources of Income
- Citizenship Status
- Smokers and Nonsmokers
- Comprehensive Protections
There are many ways to inadvertently make employees uncomfortable that can fall into the above categories. Anything from hanging up religious insignia that could negatively represent the people of that nation, or repeated or unwanted preaching by coworkers on religious matters can constitute harassment.
- In a case of religious harassment, a state court has found that it was harassing for an employer to place Christian-themed messages and Bible verses on paychecks given to employees.
If you would like help navigating the waters of harassment, your define role as a longtime employer or new employer, or questions/concerns you may have, contact NAE.
As a benefit of membership, the Nevada Association of Employers has compiled the following information and resources for your use. This content is exclusive to NAE member organizations. We are constantly updating and adding to our members-only content, so please check back regularly.
Nevada businesses are dramatically affected by rules, regulations, and laws passed by the federal and state actions, it is imperative that you are aware and up-to-date with current and best practices regarding harassment and HR protocol.
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