Workplace harassment is an unfortunate reality that many employees have to deal with. The mere thought of going to work can trigger anxiety, discomfort, and fear, making it difficult to concentrate and be productive. 

Harassment comes in many shapes and forms and can quickly turn any workplace into a toxic environment. The impact on an employee’s well-being can be devastating, whether it consists of subtle non-verbal cues, unwanted physical touch, or verbal insults.

In this article, we’ll dive into the different forms of harassment in the workplace and give a guide on how to spot them and take action. 

Types of Workplace Harassment

There are several types of workplace harassment, including:

  1. Verbal harassment – Verbal harassment can take the form of insults, slurs, or offensive or derogatory jokes.
  2. Physical harassment – Physical harassment can consist of unwanted touching, groping, or sexual assault.
  3. Non-verbal harassment – Non-verbal harassment can include staring, leering, or making inappropriate gestures.

Signs of Workplace Harassment

Several signs may indicate workplace harassment, including:

  1. Bullying behavior: Perpetrators may exhibit bullying behavior towards their colleagues, such as using aggressive or insulting language, intimidating or threatening behavior, or belittling comments.
  2. Abuse of power: Perpetrators may use their position of power or authority to exert control over others, such as by micromanaging their work, setting unreasonable expectations, or making decisions without consulting their colleagues.
  3. Sexual comments or advances: Perpetrators may make sexual comments or advances towards their colleagues, creating a hostile work environment and making it difficult for victims to feel safe and comfortable at work.
  4. Excessive attention or contact: Perpetrators may excessively contact their colleagues outside work hours by sending emails or text messages at inappropriate times or showing up unannounced at their homes or social events.
  5. Isolation tactics: Perpetrators may isolate their victims from their colleagues or peers, such as by spreading rumors or gossip, excluding them from team meetings or social events, or making it difficult for them to perform their job duties.
  6. Retaliation: Perpetrators may retaliate against their victims for speaking out or reporting their behavior, such as by spreading rumors or gossip, sabotaging their work, or intimidating them in the workplace.

What to Do About Workplace Harassment

There are several steps you can take:

  1. Speak up – The first step in addressing workplace harassment is to speak up. Talk to the person who is harassing you and let them know that their behavior is unacceptable.
  2. Document the harassment – Keep a record of all incidents of harassment, including the date, time, and location.
  3. Report the harassment – Report the harassment to your supervisor or HR department. If the person responsible for the harassment is your supervisor, report it to their supervisor or another member of management.
  4. Seek support – It can be helpful to seek support from friends, family, or a professional counselor.

How a Workplace Harassment Lawyer Can Help

If you have experienced workplace harassment, it may be beneficial to seek the guidance of a workplace harassment lawyer. Here are a few ways a lawyer can assist you:

  1. Legal advice: A lawyer can provide legal advice on your rights and options. They can help you understand the legal definitions of harassment and the specific laws and regulations that apply to your situation. A lawyer can advise you on the best course of action based on your circumstances. For example, a lawyer may advise you to file a formal complaint with your employer or to take legal action.
  2. Conduct an investigation: A lawyer can investigate the harassment and gather evidence to support your claim. This may include interviewing witnesses, reviewing documentation and evidence, and preparing a case strategy. For example, if you have been sexually harassed by a  coworker, a lawyer may interview other coworkers who witnessed the harassment or review any written documentation, such as emails or text messages, to support your claim.
  3. Negotiate a settlement: A lawyer can negotiate a settlement with your employer on your behalf. A settlement is an agreement between you and your employer that resolves the harassment issue without going to court. A lawyer can help you negotiate the settlement terms and ensure that you receive fair and just compensation for your damages. For example, if you were wrongfully terminated due to harassment, a lawyer may negotiate a settlement that includes financial compensation for lost wages and other damages.
  4. Represent you in court: If necessary, a lawyer can represent you in court and argue your case in front of a judge. If your employer refuses to settle, a lawyer can help you file a lawsuit against them. For example, if you were a victim of racial discrimination in the workplace, a lawyer may represent you in court and argue that your employer violated your civil rights.


Workplace harassment is a serious issue that can have a significant impact on an employee’s mental and physical well-being. A  workplace harassment lawyer can provide you with legal guidance, support, and representation throughout the process of addressing workplace harassment. By seeking the assistance of a lawyer, you can ensure that your rights are protected and that you receive the compensation and justice you deserve. Remember, no one should have to endure harassment in the workplace, and there are resources available to support anyone who is facing it.

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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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