Today, workplace harassment affects various employees by creating a toxic work environment, reducing productivity, and causing mental health issues. 

Harassed employees usually feel anxious when working, which can impact their personal lives as well.

According to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), most employees don’t report workplace harassment because they doubt if the management will take the necessary steps to resolve the problem. 

However, in the fiscal year 2022, the EEOC saw a 20% increase in reported cases compared to the previous year. 

Recognizing and addressing the situation more effectively by asking workplace harassment investigation questions can help create a safer and more positive work environment.

Workplace Harassment Can Create Unwanted Problems. 

Harassment is a behavior that makes anyone feel uncomfortable as it relates to protected characteristics. 

It can occur anywhere in both public and private places. 

Today, harassment cases are rising vastly in the workplace despite the efforts by the government to enact laws that help reduce harassment. 

All the employees in the workplace should know what is included in a harassment definition. 

Any unwelcome verbal, physical, or visual behavior in the workplace falls under the category of workplace harassment. 

So, if you notice any harassment signs, these are serious incidents that can have damaging effects on individuals and entire organizations. 

The Impact of Physical Harassment in the Workplace

Physical harassment in the workplace can significantly impact employees. Not only can it create a hostile work environment, but it can also decrease morale. 

Further, it leads to higher levels of stress and anxiety. Additionally, physical harassment can lead to decreased productivity, and it can result in long-term physical or psychological damage. 

Organizations must take physical harassment seriously and have policies to address the issue appropriately. 

Some signs include – 

  • Unwelcome hugs or kisses. 
  • Unwanted touching or grouping
  • Spitting or throwing objects. 
  • Making threatening gestures
  • Blocking someone’s path or pushing them.

How to Identify Verbal Harassment?

Verbal harassment in the workplace is linked with any type of verbal behavior that harms an employee’s psychological well-being. 

It can include name-calling, threads, insulting language, and other types of verbal abuse. 

So, it is essential to know the signs of verbal harassment to take steps to prevent it and respond when it occurs. 

It is important to identify verbal harassment and take steps to address it. Some common signs include – 

  • Insulting
  • Name-calling
  • Bullying
  • Aggressive Behavior
  • Intimidation or Threats
  • Discriminatory or biased languages

How to Prevent Verbal Harassment?

Preventing verbal harassment in the workplace is the responsibility of both – the employer and the employee. 

Employers need to have clear policies in place that can define verbal harassment and provide a mechanism for reporting and addressing it. 

They should conduct regular training for employees to raise awareness about the issues and provide guidance on how to prevent it. 

Employees can also look for signs to prevent verbal harassment. 

  • Speak up when they notice a verbal harassment behavior. 
  • Avoid participating in or tolerating behavior that is harassing. 
  • Communicate their boundaries professionally or assertively. 
  • Seek support from a Workplace harassment attorney if you are facing verbal harassment. 

What Does Visual Harassment in the Workplace Look Like?

Visual workplace harassment involves using visual things to create an intimidating, hostile, or offensive work environment. 

It uses images or written content to target groups or individuals, making the atmosphere uncomfortable. 

The American Psychological Association states that a toxic workplace harms employees’ mental well-being. Examples of visual workplace harassment include:

  • Showing offensive cartoons, drawings, or postures. 
  • Using inappropriate wallpapers or screensavers on workplace computers.
  • Posting demeaning notes, emails, or signs targeting specific employees or groups.
  • Sharing inappropriate images or videos.
  • Writing something weird or drawing inappropriate doodles or images in common areas like restrooms or break rooms.
  • Using unwanted messaging apps or emails to spread offensive memes or jokes.
  • Leaving provocative books, magazines, or pamphlets in shared spaces.
  • Creating a “wall of shame” or similar displays that mock or belittle certain employees.
  • Displaying symbols or logos associated with hate groups or discriminatory ideologies.
  • Wearing clothing or accessories with offensive messages or imagery.

This type of harassment can be either obvious or subtle, making it hard to notice unless you’re in the other person’s position. However, it can be very harmful to those who are targeted.

If you experience workplace harassment, seeking legal advice from a workplace harassment lawyer can be helpful. No one should have to put up with harassment at work, and there are laws to help address and fix these issues. 

By taking action, you can protect yourself and help create a better, healthier workplace for everyone.

What Can Workers Do If They Experience Visual Harassment?

If you experience visual harassment at work, documenting everything is crucial. Here are some steps you can take:

  • Save offensive messages.
  • Write down details of incidents, such as staring or gestures.
  • Take photos or screenshots of inappropriate images.

This documentation not only supports your complaint but can also be used for legal action if your employer doesn’t address the issue.


Verbal, visual, and physical harassment in the workplace can leave some serious consequences for both the victims and the organization. 

It is essential to know the signs of this harassment, take precautionary steps to prevent it, and respond if it occurs.

Employers and employees have a role to play in creating a safe and healthy work environment free from harassment. 

Regardless of the type of harassment, it can create an environment of fear and intimidation that leads to long-term feelings of anxiety and depression. 

By identifying, preventing, and responding to these types of harassment, you can create a more positive and productive workplace for everyone. 

Need Help?

If you or someone you know, needs help from a lawyer, contact the law offices of Swartz & Swartz, use our live chat, or send us a message using the form below and we’ll get in touch to assess your case and how we can help.

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About the Author: James Swartz
Mr. Swartz, our Managing and Principal Attorney at Swartz & Swartz P.C., is a nationally recognized and respected trial attorney as well as consumer advocate. His practice focuses on cases involving negligence, torts, products liability, medical malpractice, wrongful death, and other claims involving catastrophic injuries.

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