Types of Workplace Harassment


It is a personal matter, yet everyone should understand that it must be discussed and voiced without any hesitation. Workplace harassment is an issue that is prevalent in the workplace and can present itself in many forms and is very painful for the victims. Okay, so let us take you through some of the categories of harassment that are likely to be encountered at the workplace and what can be done about it.

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What is Workplace Harassment?

First things first, let’s clarify what we’re talking about when we use the term ‘workplace harassment’. In essence, it is any form of misconduct which makes the workplace uncomfortable for employees based on certain characteristics. This can be in the form of verbal abuse such as making foul remarks or physical abuse in the form of touching or intruding into a person’s space. It also involves verbal abuse, which may include production and sharing of obscene pictures or gestures.

Verbal Harassment Examples

Verbal harassment examples are one of the most prevalent forms of harassment in the workplace.

  • Insulting someone based on their race, gender, religion, age, or sexual orientation
  • Uttering of foul language or racial insults
  • Telling obscene or sexually suggestive jokes or comments
  • Gossiping and passing information about a fellow employee
  • Insulting or raising voice at someone in a rude way

This is just a short list of verbal harassment, but the list could go on and on. The important thing to bear in mind is that any form of communication or action that may offend, intimidate or degrade another person is considered as verbal harassment.

Types of Verbal Harassment

The nature of verbal harassment is quite diverse and depends on the particular words and actions used.

  • Racial harassment
  • Sexual harassment
  • Religious harassment
  • Age-based harassment
  • LGBTQ+ harassment

These are some of the example of harassment that are possible in the workplace. It is crucial to bear in mind that any language or conduct which is directed at an individual based on certain attributes such as race, gender, religious belief, age, or sexual orientation, is also considered harassment and is completely discouraged in the workplace.

The Impact of Workplace Harassment

Workplace harassment is a process that affects the lives of those who are harassed in an important manner. It may cause feelings of anxiety, depression, and stress and can even extend to the physical well-being of a person. It can also influence performance which in turn influences job satisfaction and therefore results in absenteeism and high turnover rates.

However, it is important to note that the effects of workplace harassment do not only end at the individual level. This can also cause a negative effect on the overall culture of the workplace and the employees. If harassment is left to happen, then this gives the impression that whatever is happening is okay and that the company does not care about the welfare of its employees.

Addressing Workplace Harassment

Thus, what should we do in order to prevent harassment at the workplace? The first step to preventing harassment is to set up an anti-harassment policy which states the types of behaviors that are considered harassing and the sanctions that follow. This should be made very clear to all the employees and it should be done without any deviation.

It is also necessary to conduct training to the employees on what is considered as harassment and how to report such a case if one has been harassed or even if they witness someone being harassed. This training should be mandatory for all members of staff and should be repeated at certain intervals to ensure that everyone is familiar with the current policies and guidelines.

Besides the training, it is also important that companies have a proper and private way of reporting harassment experiences or incidents for the employees. This process should be developed in a way that any person reporting a matter would remain protected, and that any report made should be treated with utmost seriousness and be followed up on.


It is crucial for companies to ensure they foster respect and inclusion in the workplace and make everyone feel wanted and appreciated. This entails; Ensuring that people of all races, origins, sexes, and other characteristics are fully acknowledged and integrated into the workplace.