Learn how to recognize and document workplace harassment

On Behalf of | May 2, 2023 | Employment Law

Employees of Missouri companies could suffer harassment at any time. If you suspect that you are the victim of illegal behavior, you will want to confirm that what you are experiencing rises to the level of illegality. This knowledge will help you gather evidence and make a complaint.

Examples of workplace harassment

Descriptions of different types of workplace harassment may help you evaluate your experience. Take note of any of the following behaviors if they are affecting you:

  • Psychological harassment – Impossible workloads and deadlines, withholding of information needed to perform well, stolen credit for good work, attacks on your intelligence or competency, sabotaging your work
  • Verbal harassment – Overly harsh criticism, nasty remarks about your appearance, insults, slurs
  • Digital harassment – Negative comments and sharing of unwanted material through social media or text messages
  • Physical harassment – Touching, hitting, pushing, threats of violence, breaking your possessions
  • Sexual harassment – Inappropriate touching, sexual comments, expectation of sexual favors for employment or promotion, exposure to pornography, dirty jokes (especially at your expense)

The source of harassment at work can be owners, immediate supervisors, executives, and co-workers. People outside the organization, such as contractors or customers, may also be to blame.

Reporting workplace harassment

Women and men can be the target of any type of harassment, but reporting it is often difficult. You may have no evidence of what what said or touching. Even so, you should make a list of the times, places, and what happened to you. Mention exactly who committed the offenses and if anyone else witnessed it.

Any negative events that took place through email, text, or social media are easier to document. Print emails and take screenshots of the offensive material sent your way by the harasser.

When you report harassment to your manager or human resources department, include your evidence. Keep copies of your evidence and ask for a written acknowledgement about your complaint. If your employer investigates the incident poorly or does nothing, report the matter to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.