What is Considered Employee Harassment?

As an employee, you probably work alongside your coworkers for 30 or 40 hours each week. With this said, it’s understandable that personalities may clash and disagreements within the workplace may occur. Problems of this nature typically blow over after a few days, in which employees maintain a cordial relationship. But sometimes, serious tension can arise between two people in the office. And if one person goes out of his way to make life miserable for the other, this can be a form of employee harassment.

No employee deserves to be the victim of harassment. Whether the harassment occurs on a daily basis or only a few times a week, it’s wrong and employers should have policies in place to ensure a safe and comfortable work environment.

Employee harassment can take many forms, and a common form is verbal abuse. Does your employee yell or angrily use profanity when speaking with you? Do you deal with name-calling? Does your employee belittle or intimidate you? Are you the victim of unwanted sexual advances?

Maybe you’ve asked the employee to stop his or her actions, but to no avail. A hostile work environment can contribute to poor performance, plus trigger stress and low self-esteem.

If you’re the victim of employee harassment, you have rights. We believe in holding employees (or employers) accountable for their actions. Contact us today at 1-800-874-2284 and speak with one of our experienced attorneys.

Jane Oatman
Faunce, Singer and Oatman

Fighting for the Rights of Disabled Public Employees
Web:  www.public-pensions.com
Ph:  1-800-874-2284

The Supreme Court Decision That Could Change Your Workplace

Most people would love to believe that employee harassment is a thing of the past. It would be wonderful if the behaviors that we see on television shows about the past, such as “Mad Men,” were behaviors that had stayed in the past. Unfortunately, this is not the case. Cases of employee harassment and public employee discrimination are still distressingly prevalent. Recently, the Supreme Court potentially added to the problem, by revising a key point in workplace harassment legislation.

In the case of Vance vs. Ball State University, an African-American dining hall worker filed a lawsuit against Ball State University, alleging that one of her supervisors began racially harassing and intimidating her in 2006. The Supreme Court’s 5-4 decision was to rule that an employee could only hold an organization liable for harassment, if a supervisor carried out the harassment. At the same time, they narrowed the legal definition of supervisor, to only those people who have the power to hire, fire, or “effect significant change in an employee’s status”.

This ruling, which has gotten very little press, has the potential to create an incredible number of problems, and it will be interesting to see how it affects employee harassment cases moving forward.

Jane Oatman
Faunce, Singer & Oatman
Fighting for the Rights of Disabled Public Employees