Keeping Harassment Out of the Workplace

Employment practices liability insurance covers a multitude of situations. One common issue included under this coverage is harassment. Is harassment going on at your business? Would you recognize harassing acts if you saw them? Understanding what harassment is and how it happens could help you prevent it at your business.

What is harassment?

Harassment can be defined as the mistreatment or discrimination of an individual because he or she is a certain gender, religion, race, ethnicity, age, or suffers from a particular disability. Harassment is not just teasing, politically incorrectness, or practical jokes. Harassment is continuous and creates a hostile work environment. It is not done by accident; the harasser is knowingly making the other individual uncomfortable.

What types of harassment are there?

Harassment could be verbal, including offensive jokes, name calling, and derogatory comments. Harassment could also be physical; this sometimes refers to violent acts, but this form of harassment could also include breaking personal possessions. Sexual harassment, on the other hand, is comprised of unwanted sexual attention, such as requesting sexual favors.

What type of people are harassers?

Contrary to popular belief, an individual does not have to be a supervisor to take on the role of a harasser. Harassment could also be at the hands of a co-worker or client of the business.

Harassment should be taken seriously, for if you fail to stop it, you and your business could be on the line with the perpetrator. For times when you simply did not see the signs of an employee being mistreated, having employment practices liability insurance could limit any financial repercussions.