What is Workplace Harassment?

What Does Workplace Harassment Mean

Before proceeding to determine the meaning of the term workplace harassment, it is essential to determine the etymological origin of the two words that give it shape. In this sense, both derive from Latin:

• Harassment, comes from “cursus”, which can be translated as “career”.

• Labor, emanates from the sum of the noun “labor”, which is synonymous with “work”, and the suffix “-al”, which means “relative to”.

It is expected that, in the workplace , each person acts responsibly, fulfilling their obligations and working as a team with their colleagues. This, however, does not always happen. A worker can be a victim of workplace harassment when another employee or his boss harass him .
The English language uses the concept of mobbing to refer to the excessive pressure and symbolic violence that is exerted within the work environment. The person who suffers this harassment may be tormented with malicious comments or repeatedly hear exaggerated criticism about their performance or ability. Generally, the intention of the harasser is for the victim to quit their job or change their behavior, since it is contrary to their interests.

The harasser, therefore, can exercise mobbing against someone who appears as a competition or who could unseat him from a place of power . Workplace harassment can also appear when the harasser tries to extort money from a worker.
Many and varied are the signs that can indicate that a person is being a victim of workplace harassment at work. Specifically, among the most frequent are the following:

• You receive totally different treatment from the alleged harasser, either due to indifference or exclusion, compared to other employees.

• Is the object of all kinds of insults, yelling and other verbal attacks.

• The stalker does not hesitate to spread rumors and falsehoods about the victim, to undermine his image and reputation.

• The victim is forced to face a significant volume of work by the order of the harasser, who also gives him a minimum time to complete it, making it impossible for him to complete it.

• Whoever commits workplace harassment does not hesitate to prevent his victim from being transferred to another department or from being promoted. That is, it restricts all their movements.

• The person who suffers from this problem sees how he is continually ridiculed by the “aggressor”, who also hides information from him so that he cannot perform his job correctly and thus can later accuse him of negligence.
It is important to differentiate between the normal pressure that a boss can exert on an employee and workplace harassment. If the person in charge of a company is not satisfied with the performance of a worker, he has the right to let him know and even to sanction him. However, if the authority disrespects (whether in private or public), demands the fulfillment of goals that are impossible to achieve or hinders the employee so that he cannot carry out daily tasks efficiently, it can be called workplace harassment.

It should be noted that the victim of workplace bullying can suffer from nervous disorders (such as depression or stress ) to psychosomatic illnesses . Given the impossibility of reporting the harasser when he is responsible for the company and you want to keep your job, experts recommend adopting an assertive behavior that allows responding to grievances but avoiding confrontation.

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