Workplace abuse is behavior that causes workers emotional or physical harm. Harassment, discrimination, bullying and violence are forms of workplace abuse.
These behaviors aren’t always distinguishable from one another because they frequently overlap. Harassment can be discriminatory, bullying can be a form of harassment, and any of these behaviors can lead to workplace violence.
Discriminatory behavior treats workers unfairly on the basis of race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, religion, disability, age or genetic information. Discrimination is prohibited by federal and state laws.
Unfair actions include harassment, retaliation, denying employment opportunities and making decisions that adversely affect people in these categories. Anti-discrimination laws cover all areas of employment, ranging from hiring and firing, to pay, disability leave, training and layoffs.
Workplace bullying ranges from isolating to verbally threatening fellow workers. Bullies can cause anxiety, depression, fear and post-traumatic disorder symptoms in their victims.
A person who threatens a coworker with physical harm is considered a typical bully. However, the supervisor who regularly demeans an employee or threatens to fire him also is a bully.
Bullies sometimes ignore their victims to make them feel nonexistent. Bullies also use other tactics to humiliate their victims, such as gossiping and spreading lies about them or sabotaging their work.
The federal Occupational Health and Safety Administration defines workplace violence as an act or threat of physical harm against another person at the work site. Abusers might physically assault their victims or use verbal abuse to intimidate them.
Workplace violence can lead to homicide, which is the fourth leading cause of occupational injuries in the U.S., according to OSHA. The agency also reports that violence leading to homicide takes the lives of women in the workplace more than any other cause.
Factors that put workers at risk for violence include working alone, at night or in isolated areas. Cashiers and others who exchange money with the public also are at high risk for violence. Law enforcement agents, delivery drivers, health care workers and public and customer service personnel are routinely victims.
Harassment consists of actions or comments that a worker finds offensive. The worker doesn’t have to be the harasser’s target; he can be a third party who hears or witnesses the behavior.
According to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, harassment becomes unlawful when it’s so severe that it creates a hostile workplace for an employee or the employee has to put up with the misconduct to keep her job.
Bullying, discrimination and violence often are categorized as workplace harassment. Therefore, harassment victims suffer the same emotional, physical and social effects as the other forms of workplace abuse.
OSHA recommends that workplaces adopt zero-tolerance policies for violence and have enforcement procedures in place to protect employees. The agency suggests that employers set up workplace violence prevention programs and systems that allow workers to report violent activities.
The EEOC recommends zero-tolerance policies for violence, bullying, discrimination and harassment. The commission enforces laws covering workplace abuse.
This article was not written by Basictech. Source: https://work.chron.com/types-abuse-workplace-11426.html