A productive and healthy workplace is one which is free from conditions which unnecessarily stress employees. Harassment or bullying in the workplace can make an employee (or several employees) feel as though they are not valued by their peers or employers. Not only is workplace harassment highly unprofessional, but it will hurt a business and is likely to affect employees’ personal lives. If you are the victim of workplace harassment, it is important to speak to an attorney to discuss your case and options you could take to stop it. North Jersey sexual harassment attorney Usmaan Sleemi invites you to a free consultation to discuss your workplace harassment claim.
10 Ways Workplace Harassment Happens in New Jersey
There are various warning signs that indicate an employee or multiple employees are being harassed or bullied at work. To discover workplace harassment in New Jersey, you should look for signs such as:
- An employee being subjected to overt negative criticism about their work, despite being competent or even extraordinary at their position.
- Being constantly reminded of your previous mistakes as an employee or being accused of mistakes you have not committed.
- An employee or multiple employees being consistently yelled at or humiliated in front of others for no apparent reason.
- Noticeably unwanted physical contact such as intentional touching, grabbing and pinching, or even blocking a pathway.
- Spreading of gossip or lies about an employee concerning their work performance or personal life.
- An employee being singled out by not being invited to office meetings or being excluded from company meetings.
- Illicit gender-based or racially-charged remarks or comments.
- Threats of retaliation if the employee does not complete a certain task or agree to other requests.
- An employee’s schedule being changed for the purpose of conflicting with their out-of-work activities.
- Having your work stolen by other employees or supervisors without due credit.
All of these examples will eventually cause an employee to feel a sense of dread once they have to begin their workday, and may cause other troublesome behavior down the line.
Effects of Workplace Bullying
An employee who is continually targeted by workplace bullies will likely begin to exhibit erratic behavior as a result. For instance, on the eve of the beginning of the work week an employee who is stressed about their job may become anxious or even sick. As a result, many employees who are harassed in the workplace often use up their vacation or sick days to simply avoid going to work.
Another effect of workplace harassment is a loss of production by employees. Productivity is lost because these troubled workers often feel like they must constantly defend themselves against their harasser. Other employees may suffer from a loss of self-esteem or struggle to concentrate during their job because of harassment. Some employees resort to entirely avoiding the bully, which obviously will make their jobs harder to accomplish.
Being a victim of workplace harassment may even have negative health impacts upon an employee. Some harassed or bullied workers have reported health problems such as:
- Increased blood pressure
- Loss of sleep
- Panic attacks
Workplace harassment can negatively affect employers as well. The disruption of the work environment can lead to:
- A hostile work environment
- Poor company reputation
- Increased legal issues
- Staff turnover
- Decreased employee commitment
To prevent occurrences of these effects, an employer should try to prevent workplace harassment entirely rather than deal with the eventual erosion of their company.
Responsibilities of Employees and Employers
If you have been the subject of workplace harassment or have witnessed workplace harassment you have certain obligations as an employee in New Jersey. Employees should promptly report incidents of bullying to a supervisor or directly to New Jersey’s Equal Employment Opportunity/Affirmative Action Officer. The incident can also be reported to other State officials authorized to address workplace discrimination cases. Employees should cooperate fully with the investigation as they may suffer unwanted consequences if they do not. Employees should also keep an eye out for any retaliatory acts by their employer for reporting the harassment.
In a workplace, supervisors are required to make every effort necessary to provide workers with a workplace free from harassment or discrimination. Supervisors must report allegations of workplace harassment to the State immediately. If a supervisor fails to report these allegations to the State, they may be disciplined or possibly even terminated from their position.
False accusations of workplace discrimination in New Jersey are a serious offense and often culminate in the termination of the employee or supervisor who invented the accusation.
Get Help from a North Jersey Workplace Harassment Attorney
If you have been the victim of workplace harassment or have witnessed workplace harassment at your job, you should speak with an attorney regarding a claim of harassment. It may be possible to recover compensation. To receive a free a consultation on your case, contact Northern NJ employment lawyer Usmaan Sleemi today at (973) 453-4060.