Understanding and preventing workplace harassment

On Behalf of | Mar 31, 2016 | Employment Law

Workplace discrimination and harassment ultimately have many negative effects that can hurt morale and waste time, and these behaviors might cost billions of dollars annually. Employers in Wisconsin should consider taking steps to stop harassment before it starts, and workers can also educate themselves about appropriate behavior while on the job.

Certain forms of harassment and discrimination are illegal in the workplace. Sexual harassment can come from a member of the same or opposite sex and consists of unwelcome explicit or more general sexual advances, jokes, gestures, slurs, comments or actions.

Unless they are exempt from coverage from the various state and federal laws dealing with workplace discrimination, companies cannot refuse to hire someone based on national origin, race, color, gender, disability or religion, and harassment due to these things might include derogatory actions, slurs, jokes and more. Disability harassment might also involve ridicule or demeaning comments or circumstances because of an actual or perceived disability.

It is an employer’s legal duty to create a harassment-free environment and attempt to stop certain types of harassment from occurring. Superiors can implement training and educate workers about the actions and behaviors that are risky and not allowed. One must be careful when dealing with an alleged offender, but initial courses of action could involve discouraging further contact between the given parties and reassigning the possible offender to a different section.

It is important to respond to claims of harassment in accordance with employment law. Employers are not allowed to retaliate against someone who brings complaints forward. Workers who find themselves the target of this type of behavior may want to speak with an attorney in order to learn about the remedies that are available.


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