The Most Common Types of Harassment in the Workplace


Workplace harassment is an ongoing problem across the United States. It’s something that employers are constantly working to overcome.

Harassment can come in a variety of forms, from unwanted sexual advancements to harassment based on gender, age, or race. No matter the form of harassment, employers must do everything they can to stop it from recurring in the workplace and keep their employees safe.

Recent harassment statistics indicate that it is still a major issue across America. However, more people are speaking up and sharing their experiences. Employers are now finding new ways to improve their employee’s health and well-being, and encourage friendliness in the workplace.

Here are some of the most common forms of harassment in the workplace.

Physical Harassment

One of the most common forms of harassment in the workplace is physical harassment. It can come in the form of violence or threatening behavior towards employees.

Physical harassment may also involve damage to property, such as tampering with equipment or damaging a vehicle.

Discriminatory Harassment

Discriminatory harassment comes in a variety of forms. It can be based on different protected characteristics, such as age, gender, disability, and sex.

An individual may be subjected to nasty comments or remarks. The issue with this form of harassment is determining what is offensive and what isn’t because one person may be offended by something that another person finds funny.

A lawyer will be able to guide employers or employees through their situation if they are unsure how to resolve things.

The most common forms of discriminatory harassment include:

  • Disability – unfavorable treatment based on a physical or mental disability. This may involve jokes, isolation, and refusal to accommodate their needs.
  • Race – harassment and discrimination due to somebody’s skin color or race.
  • Gender – harassment based on somebody’s gender, often caused by negative stereotypes of how a man or woman should act.
  • Religion – the poor treatment of somebody due to their religion, including intolerances towards their religious traditions or customs. 
  • Age – discrimination based on the age of an employee, including teasing, unfair treatment, or lack of opportunities
  • Sexual orientation – harassment because of somebody’s sexual orientation

Personal Harassment

Personal harassment can include ongoing bullying, humiliation, criticism, and intimidation. An employee may be subjected to nasty remarks or derogatory comments. 

Psychological Harassment

Psychological harassment can be tough to identify because it develops over time as the victim’s mental health becomes affected. It can encompass bullying, nasty or patronizing remarks, or sexual advancements that begin to affect the victim on a personal level. 

Physical Harassment

Physical harassment can include the threatening of an employee, or physical harm to them, such as hitting, kicking, or slapping. It can also involve the destruction of property with the aim to threaten or intimidate somebody in the workplace. 

If somebody is getting physically harassed in the workplace, the issue may need to be escalated to the police so that the perpetrator can be criminally charged. In severe cases like this, the physical harassment may be labeled as assault.

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