Workers may suffer harassment on the job for a number of reasons. Sexual harassment is very common, sometimes between coworkers and sometimes between bosses and their employees, creating a power imbalance. But people can also be harassed due to their religion, their gender, their age, their race and for many other reasons.
This type of harassment can have a major impact on a person’s mental and emotional state. It can increase their stress levels, which can lead to physical challenges and ailments. Harassment can lower a person’s self-esteem and hinder their confidence. In many industries, this confidence is a necessary part of a successful career, but it could be completely undermined by a hostile work environment. Harassment can also lead to issues like anxiety and depression, which need to be taken seriously with so many many Americans taking medication for the same conditions.
The negative effects spread
Interestingly, researchers who have studied this phenomenon have found that even those who aren’t being bullied may experience negative effects when their coworkers are being bullied. Witnesses also have to work in that hostile work environment. In fact, they may constantly live in fear of being harassed for similar reasons, or for entirely different reasons altogether. Just being in that hostile work environment subjects them to a level of stress they wouldn’t find elsewhere, even when it isn’t targeted toward them at the moment.
Is this harassment illegal?
In some of the examples noted above, such as sexual harassment or harassment based on religion or race, it could be a violation of a person’s rights. This makes it illegal, and those who are facing such harassment need to know about the steps they can take.