Workplace harassment

Workplace harassment is the belittling or threatening behavior directed at an individual worker or a group of workers[1]

Recently, matters of workplace harassment have gained interest among practitioners and researchers as it is becoming one of the most sensitive areas of effective workplace management, because a significant source of work stress is associated with aggressive behaviors at workplace[2]. In Asian countries, workplace harassment is one of the poorly attended issues by managers in organizations [3]. However, it attracted lots of attention from researchers and governments since the 1980s. Under occupational health and safety laws around the world,[4] workplace harassment and workplace bullying are identified as being core psychosocial hazards [5]. Overbearing supervision, constant criticism, and blocking promotions are all considered workplace harassment[6].


Workplace harassment is also known by many other names. "Mobbing", "workplace bullying", "workplace mistreatment", "workplace aggression", "workplace molestation" and "workplace abuse" are all either synonymous or belong to the category of workplace harassment.[7] Workplace harassment includes different types of discrimination and acts of violation that are not confined to one specific group. The wide-ranging types of workplace harassment can be loosely categorized into emotional and physical abuse. All of these forms of workplace harassment target various groups, including women, racial minorities, homosexuals, people with disabilities and immigrants. In essence, workplace harassment requires pluralistic understanding, because it cannot be delineated in one coherent and concrete definition.[8]

Acknowledging the difficulty of formulating a universal definition of workplace harassment, Ezer broadly defines workplace harassment as "irrational repeated behavior towards an employee or group of employees, which represents a health and security risk.[9] Any act of discrimination or assault that systematically disadvantage the employees is considered workplace harassment.[9] Workplace harassment can contribute to deterioration of physical and emotional health.[9]

According to Rosa Brook, the concept of workplace harassment is based on two premises.[8] Firstly, regardless of gender, race, sexuality or any other defining characteristic, every person should be given the right to be "free from abusive treatment in the workplace".[8] With freedom from abuse given as a basic human right, any form of discomfort or discrimination in workplace becomes labeled as an act of harassment.[8] Secondly, the issues caused by workplace harassment affect the victims in harmful ways. Discrimination in the workplace hinders victims from successful advancement in their careers, limiting the capabilities of the victim.[8]

A common misconception about workplace harassment is that workplace harassment is simply sexual harassment in the context of a workplace.[10] While sexual harassment is a prominent form of workplace harassment, the United States Department of Labor defines workplace harassment as being more than just sexual harassment.[10] "It may entail 'quid pro quo' harassment, which occurs in cases in which employment decisions or treatment are based on submission to or rejection of unwelcome conduct, typically conduct of a sexual nature. Workplace harassment may also consist of offensive conduct based on one or more of the protected groups above that is so severe or pervasive that it creates a hostile or offensive work environment or when it results in an adverse employment decision (such as being fired or demoted)."[10] Thus, workplace harassment is a bigger category that encompasses sexual harassment.

In the United States


The vastly different harassments imposed on the victims can be categorized into two different types, physical abuse and emotional abuse. Physical abuse refers to sexual assault and violence on body, while emotional abuse refers to imposing stress and bullying. Anderson and Militello found that often managers exhibiting harassing behavior were allowed to maintain their jobs because their behavior was seen to increase productivity in the short term. A study done by Kathleen D. Ryan and Daniel K Oestereich, Driving Fear Out of the Workplace, found that many of these behaviors can range from subtle emotional cues to outward physical threats and can include; silence, direct insults and even angry outbursts. Whether these actions are intentional or brought on by stress, the result can cause the employee to feel humiliated, isolated and may cause them to lash out at others.[11]

Physical harassment

Anita Hill at Harvard Law School Sep 2014
Anita Hill testified her charge against Clarence Thomas for sexually harassing her at the Department of Education and the EEOC.

Physical harassment in the workplace takes many forms. Sexual assault is one form of widely known physical harassment. Sexual assault in the workplace has gained media and academic attention majorly in the 90s after a series of famous sex scandals.[12]"Among the most notorious are the 1991 congressional hearings on the alleged sexual harassment of Anita Hill by Clarence Thomas, nominee to the Supreme Court; the sexual assault on female officers at a party during the 1991 annual convention of Navy fighter pilots; the dismissal of Air Force pilot Kelly Flinn for adultery in 1997; the 1998 trial and acquittal of the top ranking Army enlisted man on charges of sexual harassment; and the independent counsel investigations of President Clinton's sexual affairs with subordinates."[12] With this cascade of sex scandals, the media and scholars have focused on developing more studies on sexual harassment in workplaces. Sexual assault becomes difficult to define, as the distinction between sexual harassment and consensual sexual behaviors is not finely delineated.[12] Some occupations require a higher tolerance to sexual behaviors, such as waitresses and tour guides.[12] More specifically, the employers for these occupations expect the workers to comply with the level of sexual interactions the workers would have with the customers.[12] This unquestioned expectation from the employers then pushes the workers to see only two options. The workers would have to accept the sexual harassment from customers as "part of the job", or report the sexual harassment to the manager and get fired.[12] Adding onto the pressure, reporting sexual assault comes with criticism from co-workers, as they see the sexual assault as part of the job requirement.[12]

The prevalence of sexual harassment at work is high. For example, a study by the U.S. Merit Systems Protection Board in 1981 shows that among the female government employees, 33 percent experienced sexual comments, 26 percent had unwanted physical touching, and 15 percent was pressured for dates.[13] Moreover, "Nearly 10% had been directly pressured for sexual cooperation, and a similar percentage described repeated telephone calls and unwelcome letters or notes."[13] Other than this example, Fitzgerald states that "the enormity of such figures is difficult to grasp, indicating as they do that virtually millions of women are subjected to experiences ranging from insults to assault—many on an ongoing or recurrent basis— as the price of earning a living."[13]

Another form of physical harassment at work is workplace violence. Workplace violence is defined as physical threats and assaults targeted at employees. There are two main perpetrators for workplace violence: criminals who approached as clients, and co-workers.[14] The criminals assert violence through the forms of robberies and homicides, and the rate of homicides in the workplace has risen significantly over the past 20 years.[14] According to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), 9,937 workplace homicides happened in the time period of 1980 to 1992, which averages out to about 800 homicides per year.[14] "In 1989, homicide was the third leading cause of death in the workplace for all employees.[15] By 1993, homicide had become the second leading cause of death on-the-job for all employees and had become the leading cause of death for women."[15] Most of these homicides are by criminals, as the Bureau of Labor Statistics found that only 59 of the 1,063 were co-worker related homicides, and the rest were made by criminals.[15]

The workplace violence perpetrated by co-workers tends to be less obvious.[15] The Northwestern National Life (1993) study showed 15 percent of respondents experienced physical attack at work, and 14 percent of respondents reported being physically attacked in the past 12 months.[15] The acts of violence in workplace consist of pushing or shoving, fistfights, and rape.[15] The SHRM study that interviewed 1,016 human resource professionals, "22% reported incidents of pushing or shoving, 13% reported fist fights, and 1% reported rape or sexual assault."[15] Much of the physical violence on workers is preceded by physiological aggression, hinting that emotional harassment may be the cause for workplace violence.[16]

Emotional harassment

Unlike physical harassment, emotional harassment is unnoticeable and also viewed as being more socially acceptable.[17] Naturally, emotional harassment in the workplace gets less attention than physical harassment in the workplace, which perpetuates the issue of emotional harassment in the workplace.[17] According to Keashly, emotional harassment can be defined as "the hostile verbal and nonverbal behaviors that are not explicitly tied to sexual or racial content yet are directed at gaining compliance from others."[17] In short, emotional harassment is manipulation of people's actions through social behaviors.

One common form of emotional abuse in workplace is bullying. Also known as mobbing, workplace bullying "is a long lasting, escalated conflict with frequent harassing actions systematically aimed at a target person."[18] Specific actions of workplace bullying include the following: false accusations of mistakes and errors, hostile glares and other intimidating non-verbal behaviors, yelling, shouting, and screaming, exclusion and the "silent treatment," withholding resources and information necessary to the job, behind-the-back sabotage and defamation, use of put-downs, insults, and excessively harsh criticism, and unreasonably heavy work demands designed to ensure failure.[19] The 2014 Workplace Bullying Institute/Zogby national survey shows that 27 percent have experienced workplace bullying in the past, and seven percent of employees currently suffer workplace bullying.[19] In addition, "more than 97% of nurse managers reported experiencing abuse, whereas 60% of retail industry workers, 23% of faculty and university staff, and 53% of business school students reported abuse at work."[20] The areas of industry in which emotional abuse happens are not limited to one, but rather they range from hospitals, universities, manufacturing plants, research industries, and social service agencies.[20]

With such frequency of workplace bullying to various groups of people, many theories exist in discussing the causes of workplace bullying. One side argues that the bullying targets are in fact responsible for the bullying.[18] More specifically, some physicians and psychologists attribute the cause of workplace bullying to the target employee's mental disorders, such as general anxiety disorder, instead of the working situation.[18] The opposite argument contends that the cause of workplace bullying lies in the organizational problems and poor leadership skills. Another argument states that workplace bullying is a multi-causal phenomenon, as different factors can play their respective roles in building the tension.[21] Despite this plethora of arguments, Zapf addresses that academic analysis of the cause is difficult.[18] Getting the perspective of perpetrators and potential bystanders is unrealistic, and therefore the studies are primarily focused on victims' interviews.[18]


The victims of workplace harassment can be separated into three categories, based on gender, sexuality, and race. While one group experiences workplace harassment more frequently than others, workplace harassment still affects wide range of population.


Both men and women are victims of workplace harassment. Workplace harassment for women dates back to women's first foray into the workforce, as early as colonial times. The most common form of workplace harassment that women face is sexual harassment.[13] According to Fitzgerald, one of every two women experiences workplace harassment in their working or academic lives.[13] The most common form of sexual harassment is the unwanted and unavoidable sexual attention from co-workers.[13] A study of government employees shows the inescapable, uncomfortable sexual attention takes varying forms.[13] 33% of respondents had been called by sexual remarks, 26% of respondents faced physical touching, and 15% respondents were pressured to go on a date.[13] The more explicit forms of sexual harassment are shown by court cases, such as Meritor v. Vinson (1986), Robinson v. Jacksonville Shipyards (1991), and others.[13] In Meritor v. Vinson, "Michele Vinson, an employee of Meritor Savings Bank, was forced to have sex with her boss between 40 and 50 times."[13] The boss harassed her by fondling her in public, following her to the bathroom, and frequently raping her.[13] In Robinson v. Jacksonville Shipyards, Robinson requested to put down the pornographic materials in Jacksonville Shipyard workplace. The pornographic material included "a pinup showing a meat spatula pressed against a woman's pubic area and another featuring a nude woman holding a whip."[13]

While workplace harassment against women has been a frequent subject of study for more than 20 years, workplace harassment against men rarely receives attention and is not subjected to many studies.[22] However, the Bureau of Justice Statistics shows that "among people victimized while working or on duty, male victims outnumbered females by about 2 to 1."[23] Men experience less workplace sexual harassment than women, as only 16.7% of men reported rape/sexual assault, but men face more workplace violence.[23] 72% of men were robbed in their workplace, 74.4% of men experienced aggravated assault, and 66.1% of men experienced simple assault.[23]


The Williams Institute 2011 study shows that "In the American workforce, more than eight million people (or 4 percent of the U.S. workforce) identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender (LGBT)."[24] Even so, the LGBT group has faced constant discrimination and harassment in workplaces, as shown by court cases and historical events.[24] One common form of workplace harassment for LGBT community is the psychological and physical strain in hiding their sexuality in a heterosexist workplace environment.[25] Other form of workplace harassment is direct harassment from the public after disclosing one's sexuality.[25] Because an LGBT individual experiences explicit verbal assault, physical violence, and hate crimes after disclosing sexuality, the LGBT community more often than not conceals its sexuality in workplaces.[25]


Many studies show that culturally stigmatized groups face more workplace harassments.[26] With changes in the political and social scenes in America, subtle and daily harassment is more common than blatant and explicit harassment today.[26] A study by Deitch, Barsky, Butz and et al. shows that black Americans face more mistreatment in workplaces than white Americans.[26] The mistreatments and harassments do not explicitly "reference race or discrimination as the cause of the treatment", because overt racism is prohibited in workplaces.[26] However, the statistics show race is "significantly associated with mistreatment" and that black Americans in general report significantly more "minor, pervasive mistreatment and unfairness on the job."[26] The study suggests the discrimination and harassments may intensify for Black Americans in a job with fewer people of the same race, such as "token" Black employee or "solo" employees.[26] In addition, not only Blacks but also Asian Americans, and other minority races all face "a higher rate of homicide than their proportion of the work force would suggest."[27] Of the eighth of the workforce experiencing homicide, more than a fourth of the population is an ethnic minority.[27]



The intensity of workplace harassment is positively correlated with the level of alcohol use.[28] One of the motives that people drink is "to self-medicate distressful feelings resulting from problematic social conditions".[28] Thus, the negative social distress faced in workplaces is linked with increased consumption of alcohol.[28] Moreover, because workplace harassment cannot be clearly delineated like sexual or racial harassment, victims do not counteract by legal and institution responses.[28] Rather, they rely on drinking to cope with the emotional distress.[28]

Nolen-Hoeksema and Harrell's 2002 study shows that while both women and men are at risk of alcoholism under workplace harassment, men are more likely to cope by drinking than women do, as women use their relatively wider social connections to attain the emotional support.[29] However, a 2004 survey of a random sample of employees at a heavy machinery assembly plant shows that women are more sensitive and receptive of workplace harassment, and therefore women have "a greater propensity to drink".[30] The negative drinking effects are more severe for women than they are for men.[29]

One mail survey that was completed at four points in time by a cohort of 1654 employees has shown that the positive correlation between consumption of drinking and levels of workplace harassment continues after retirement.[31] Even when the immediate stressors are not present, the victims still retain the increased use of alcohol.[31] The study attributes the reason for the lasting effect is that "appropriate alcohol consumption may have functioned to somewhat inhibit the self-medication of stress-induced distress during work role occupancy".[31]


PTSD is commonly known as a "war wound", yet it also affects workers,[32] "when a worker suffers PTSD, the workplace for that person has become a war zone".[32] Several studies show that many workplace harassment victims experience Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).[33] For example, a study that interviewed about 100 victims of workplace harassment shows that "a majority of the respondents exceed recommended threshold-values indicating PTSD".[34] The study also demonstrate that based on the duration and persistency of the workplace harassment, the levels of PTSD differ.[34] The more recent and frequent the workplace harassment occurred, the more severe their symptoms of PTSD were.[34]

A study by Mikklesen and Einarsen also reports that 76 percent of its respondents experienced PTSD.[33] Nevertheless, Mikklesen and Einarsen qualify the idea that workplace harassment directly leads to PTSD.[33] They argue that the causes of PTSD symptoms of the victims are primarily attributed to other traumatic events rather than the workplace harassment itself.[33] Therefore, the study concludes the "exposure to other traumatic life events may increase victims' vulnerability" to their sensitivity to workplace harassment.[33]

Other psychological effects

Other than alcoholism and PTSD, victims of workplace harassment also experience other negative psychological effects.[35] An analysis of self-reported health symptoms, and physiological stress reactivity of 437 employees shows that compared to the employees who have not experienced workplace harassment, employees who have experienced exhibited higher level of anxiety and nervousness.[36] Another study's survey of 156 victims of workplace harassment shows that 79.4 percent of respondents suffer from stress, 64.7 percent from depressive symptoms, 64 percent from tiredness, 59 percent from lack of confidence, 58 percent from humiliation and guilt, and 58 percent from nightmares.[35]


Title VII

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 is used as a tool to eradicate workplace harassment.[37] Title VII lists the following actions of employers unlawful:

"(1) to fail or refuse to hire or to discharge any individual, or otherwise to discriminate against any individual with respect to [her or] his compensation, terms, conditions, or privileges of employment, because of such individual's race, color, religion, sex, or national origin; or (2) to limit, segregate, or classify [her or] his employees discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex and national origin … in any way which would deprive... any individual of employment opportunities or otherwise adversely affect [her or] his status as an employee, because of such individual's race, color, religion, sex, or national origin."[38]

"Most courts consider it consistent with the intent of Congress to interpret the Act liberally, and therefore, coverage under Title VII is very broad".[39] This allows victims of workplace harassment primarily use Title VII to assert their legal actions.[39] In addition, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), a governmental committee that prohibits discrimination in workplace, administers the practices and violations of Title VII.[39] It issued and amended the "Guidelines on Discrimination of Sex", a more specified interpretation of Title VII.[39]

Court cases

While an employee with Meritor Savings Bank, Mechelle Vinson claimed that she had been sexually harassed and raped by the vice president of the bank, Sidney Taylor, for four years starting her first day of employment .[40] However, she did not address to Taylor or higher authority, because she was afraid of dismissal.[40] Meritor Savings Bank vs. Vinson case ruled that hostile environment is considered a violation of Title VII.[40] This decision "legitimized this area of the law for complainants and, for the first time, put employers on notice that unwelcome sexual conduct will not be tolerated in the workplace."[40] This court case also added that violation of Title VII does not have to be "tangible" and "economic".[40]

Shipyard in Jacksonville

Robinson, as one of the few female employees at the Jacksonville Shipyard, filed a sexual harassment report against Jacksonville Shipyard.[41] She attested that all of the pornographic images and remarks objectified her.[41] This case received high media attention, as the ACLU of Florida and ACLU of Women's Rights Project defended different parties.[41] ACLU of Florida primarily held the free speech principles, while in contrast, ACLU Women's Rights Project addressed the equality principle.[41] They openly disagreed and showed "disagreement among civil libertarians on how to apply free speech- and equality principles to the facts at issue in a workplace sexual harassment case."[41] The District Court upheld the ACLU Women's Rights Project's side, as "The District Court did not undertake the proper inquiry in determining liability.[41] Instead, the District Court proceeded from the erroneous assumption that expression can constitute harassment merely because an employee finds it offensive."[41]

See also

Further reading

  • Boland, Mary L. (2005). Sexual harassment In the workplace. SphinxLegal. ISBN 9781572485273. Preview.
  • Einarsen, Ståle; Hoel, Helge; Zapf, Dieter; Cooper, Cary (2010). Bullying and harassment in the workplace: developments in theory, research, and practice (2nd ed.). CRC Press. ISBN 9781439804902. Preview.
  • Nielsen, Morten Birkeland; Tangen, Tone; Idsoe, Thormod; Matthiesen, Stig Berge; Magerøy, Nils (March–April 2015). "Post-traumatic stress disorder as a consequence of bullying at work and at school. A literature review and meta-analysis". Aggression and Violent Behavior. 21: 17–24. doi:10.1016/j.avb.2015.01.001.


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  2. ^ Tehrani, Noreen (August 2004). "Bullying: a source of chronic post traumatic stress?". British Journal of Guidance & Counselling, Special Issue: Special Symposium on Bullying at Work. 32 (3): 357–366. doi:10.1080/03069880410001727567.
  3. ^ Rokonuzzaman, Md.; Rahman, M M (2011). "Workplace Harassment and Productivity: A Comprehensive Role of Strategic Leadership". Journal of General Education. 1 (Dec): 41–50. ISSN: 2223-4543. PDF
  4. ^ Concha-Barrientos, M., Imel, N.D., Driscoll, T., Steenland, N.K., Punnett, L., Fingerhut, M.A., Prüss-Üstün, A., Leigh, J., Tak, S.W., Corvalàn, C. (2004). Selected occupational risk factors. In M. Ezzati, A.D. Lopez, A. Rodgers & C.J.L. Murray (Eds.), Comparative Quantification of Health Risks. Geneva: World Health Organization.
  5. ^ Productivity Commission, "Psychosocial hazards", in Productivity Commission (ed.), Performance Benchmarking of Australian Business Regulation: Occupational Health and Safety (PDF), Government of Australia, archived from the original (PDF) on March 7, 2014
  6. ^ Landau, Philip (2017-03-29). "Bullying at work: your legal rights". The Guardian. Retrieved 2018-10-08.
  7. ^ Lewis, Jacqueline; Coursol, Diane; Wahl, Kay Herting (September 2002). "Addressing issues of workplace harassment: counseling the targets". Journal of Employment Counseling. 39 (3): 109–116. doi:10.1002/j.2161-1920.2002.tb00842.x. Text.
  8. ^ a b c d e Brooks, Rosa Ehrenreich (1999). "Dignity and discrimination: toward a pluralistic understanding of workplace harassment". Georgetown Law Journal. 88 (1): 14–20. Pdf.
  9. ^ a b c Ezer, Marius; Ezer, Oana Florentina (November 2012). "Workplace harassment, mobbing phenomenon". Perspectives of Business Law Journal. 1 (1): 298–304. Pdf.
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  16. ^ Schat, Aaron C.H.; Kelloway, E. Kevin (April 2003). "Reducing the adverse consequences of workplace aggression and violence: the buffering effects of organizational support". Journal of Occupational Health Psychology. 8 (2): 110–122. doi:10.1037/1076-8998.8.2.110. PMID 12703877. Pdf.
  17. ^ a b c Keashly, Loraleigh (July 1997). "Emotional abuse in the workplace: conceptual and empirical issues". Journal of Emotional Abuse. 1 (1): 85–117. doi:10.1300/J135v01n01_05.
  18. ^ a b c d e Zapf, Dieter (1999). "Organisational, work group related and personal causes of mobbing/bullying at work". International Journal of Manpower. 20 (1–2): 70–85. doi:10.1108/01437729910268669.
  19. ^ a b Yamada, David. Promoting healthy, productive, and socially responsible workplaces. 2014 Warns-Render Institute University of Louisville, Louis D. Brandeis School of Law. |access-date= requires |url= (help) New Workplace Institute: promoting healthy, productive, and socially responsible workplaces. Pdf.
  20. ^ a b Lutgen-Sandvik, Pamela (May 2003). "The communicative cycle of employee emotional abuse: generation and regeneration of workplace mistreatment". Management Communication Quarterly. 16 (4): 471–501. doi:10.1177/0893318903251627. Pdf.
  21. ^ Salin, Denise (October 2003). "Ways of explaining workplace bullying: a review of enabling, motivating and precipitating Structures and processes in the work environment". Human Relations. 56 (10): 1213–1232. doi:10.1177/00187267035610003.
  22. ^ Lee, Deborah (July 2000). "Hegemonic masculinity and male feminisation: the sexual harassment of men at work". Journal of Gender Studies. 9 (2): 141–155. doi:10.1080/713677986.
  23. ^ a b c Warchol, Greg (July 1998), "Victim characteristics", in Warchol, Greg (ed.), Special report: National Crime Victimization Survey: Workplace violence, 1992-96 (PDF), Bureau of Justice Statistics, p. 2, NCJ 168634.
  24. ^ a b Pizer, Jennifer C.; Sears, Brad; Mallory, Christy; Hunter, Nan D. (Spring 2012). "Evidence of persistent and pervasive workplace discrimination against LGBT people: the need for Federal legislation prohibiting discrimination and providing for equal employment benefits". Loyola of Los Angeles Law Review. 45 (3): 715–779. Pdf.
  25. ^ a b c Probst, Tahira M.; Estrada, Armando X.; Brown, Jeremiah W. (2008), "Harassment, violence and hate crimes in the workplace", in Thomas, Kecia M. (ed.), Diversity resistance in organizations, Series in Applied Psychology, Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, pp. 93–125, ISBN 9780805859638.
  26. ^ a b c d e f Deitch, Elizabeth A.; Barsky, Adam; Butz, Rebecca M.; Chan, Suzanne; Brief, Arthur P.; Bradley, Jill C. (November 2003). "Subtle yet significant: the existence and impact of everyday racial discrimination in the workplace". Human Relations. 56 (11): 1299–1324. doi:10.1177/00187267035611002.
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  28. ^ a b c d e Richman, Judith A.; Rospenda, Kathleen M.; Flaherty, Joseph A.; Freels, Sally (October 2001). "Workplace harassment, active coping, and alcohol-related outcomes". Journal of Substance Abuse. 13 (3): 347–366. doi:10.1016/S0899-3289(01)00079-7. PMID 11693457.
  29. ^ a b Rospenda, Kathleen M.; Fujishiro, Kaori; Shannon, Candice A.; Richman, Judith A. (July 2008). "Workplace harassment, stress, and drinking behavior over time: gender differences in a national sample". Addictive Behaviors. 33 (7): 964–967. doi:10.1016/j.addbeh.2008.02.009. PMC 2442899. PMID 18384975.
  30. ^ Messick Svare, Gloria; Miller, Leonard; Ames, Genevieve (November 2004). "Social climate and workplace drinking among women in a male-dominated occupation". Addictive Behaviors. 29 (8): 1691–1698. doi:10.1016/j.addbeh.2004.03.033. PMID 15451139.
  31. ^ a b c Richman, Judith A.; Zlatoper, Kenneth W.; Zackula Ehmke, Jennifer L.; Rospenda, Kathleen M. (May 2006). "Retirement and drinking outcomes: lingering effects of workplace stress?". Addictive Behaviors. 31 (5): 767–776. doi:10.1016/j.addbeh.2005.06.001. PMID 15994026.
  32. ^ a b "Psychological-emotional-mental injuries". Workplace Bullying Institute RSS. Retrieved April 28, 2015.
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  34. ^ a b c Matthiesen, Stig Berge; Einarsen, Ståle (August 2004). "Psychiatric distress and symptoms of PTSD among victims of bullying at work". British Journal of Guidance & Counselling, Special Issue: Special Symposium on Bullying at Work. 32 (3): 335–356. doi:10.1080/03069880410001723558. Pdf.
  35. ^ a b Lewis, Jacqueline; Coursol, Diane; Wahl, Kay Herting (March 2001). "Addressing issues of workplace harassment: counseling the targets". Journal of Employment Counseling. 39 (3): 109–116. doi:10.1002/j.2161-1920.2002.tb00842.x. Text.
  36. ^ Hansen, Åse Marie; Hogh, Annie; Persson, Roger; Karlson, Björn; Garde, Anne Helene; Ørbæk, Palle (January 2006). "Bullying at work, health outcomes, and physiological stress response". Journal of Psychosomatic Research. 60 (1): 63–72. doi:10.1016/j.jpsychores.2005.06.078. PMID 16380312.
  37. ^ Anderson, Katherine S. (October 1987). "Employer liability under Title VII for sexual harassment after Meritor Savings Bank v. Vinson". Columbia Law Review. 87 (6): 1258–1279. doi:10.2307/1122590. JSTOR 1122590.
  38. ^ U.S. Code. "Title 42 Chapter 21 Subchapter VI U.S. Code § 2000e–2 - Unlawful Employment Practices". Legal Information Institute.
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Ana Garrido Ramos

Ana María Garrido Ramos (born c. 1966) is a former local government employee of the Ayuntamiento of Boadilla del Monte in the Madrid metropolitan area. She is a key witness and whistleblower in the Gürtel case, an ongoing political corruption scandal in Spain.

In 1993, Garrido Ramos started employment with the Ayuntamiento de Boadilla, working in the youth section. She became its head in 2007. In March 2008, Mayor Arturo González Panero chose to stand down after a period of illness and went to stay in Costa Rica. González Panero was later named in the Panama Papers.An internal company document suggested that he acted beyond his remit both geographically and in political and business dealings. Even though Garrido Ramos had knowledge of the entire contents of the document, she decided not to blow the whistle, fearing reprisals, and continued to work for the Ayuntamiento de Boadilla.

Somehow the anti-corruption organisation Manos Limpias ("Clean Hands") received the document, which it submitted to the Fiscalía Anticorrupción (a special committee of the Spanish Procurator-fiscal), which prompted them to start investigations into what was to become the Gürtel case. The 2011 indictment by examining magistrate Baltasar Garzón precipitated González Panero's resignation as mayor. In 2011 elections a new mayor, Antonio González Terol, took charge. González Panero returned to his managerial post as leader of the Youth Section until, in 2013, he was accused of workplace harassment.Garrido Ramos developed clinical depression due to her treatment at work. In 2014, the employment tribunal of Móstoles, Madrid subpoenad Garrido da por probada la situación de acoso laboral sufrida por Ana María Garrido Ramos ("To give evidence in the case of workplace harassment suffered by Ana María Garrido Ramos"), whereon the Ayuntamiento de Boadilla terminated her employment with an out-of-court settlement of €96000 for "daños morales" ("moral damages"). Due to an appeal by Boadilla town hall, she has not received the sum as of September 2016.Garrido Ramos has advocated a law to improve whistleblower protection (Protección al Denunciante de Corrupción). Her case has been closed. As of May 2016, she had sold most of her clothes and furniture, rented out her home, and was selling handmade bracelets for a living.In 2016, she was nominated for the "Encina de Oro" Award.

Banishment room

A banishment room (also known as a chasing-out-room and a boredom room) is a modern employee exit management strategy whereby employees are transferred to another department where they are assigned meaningless work until they become disheartened enough to quit. Since the resignation is voluntary, the employee would not be eligible for certain benefits. The legality and ethicality of the practice is questionable and may be construed as constructive dismissal in some regions.

The practice, which is not officially acknowledged, is common in Japan which has strong labor laws and a tradition of permanent employment.

Career break

A career break is a period of time out from employment. Traditionally, this is for women to raise children, but it is sometimes used for people taking time out of their career for personal development and/or professional development.

Civil conscription

Civil conscription is conscription used for forcing people to work in non-military projects.

Civil conscription is used by various governments around the world, among them Greece, where it has been used numerous times and it is called πολιτική επιστράτευση (politiki epistratevsi, "political mobilisation"). Temporary conscription for payment, typically of taxes, is known as corvée.

Elizabeth Quinlan

Elizabeth Quinlan is an associate professor of sociology at the University of Saskatchewan and an associate member of its Women’s and Gender Studies Program. In 2017 she received a national award for equity and justice from the Canadian Association of University Teachers (CAUT) in recognition of her work supporting fair hiring practices and combating sexual violence.


Harassment covers a wide range of behaviors of an offensive nature. It is commonly understood as behavior that demeans, humiliates or embarrasses a person, and it is characteristically identified by its unlikelihood in terms of social and moral reasonableness. In the legal sense, these are behaviors that appear to be disturbing, upsetting or threatening. They evolve from discriminatory grounds, and have an effect of nullifying or impairing a person from benefiting their rights. When these behaviors become repetitive they are defined as bullying.

Sexual harassment refers to persistent and unwanted sexual advances even after gently refusing, typically in the workplace, where the consequences are potentially very disadvantageous to the victim if there is a power imbalance between the perpetrator.

Income bracket

Income bracket is the bandwidth from a basic wage towards all possible salary components and is used to give employees a career perspective and to give the employer the possibility to reward achievements.

In governmental terms, entire populations are divided into income brackets. These brackets are used to categorize demographic data as well as determine levels of taxation and benefits.

Labour movement of Singapore

NTUC, which forms the majority of the labour movement in Singapore, represents over 800,000 workers in Singapore across more than 70 unions, affiliated associations and related organisations. NTUC, along with tripartite partners, the Singapore National Employers Federation (SNEF) and Ministry of Manpower (MOM), work together to tackle issues such as job re-creation, raising the effective retirement age, skills training and upgrading of the workforce, promotion of fair and progressive employment practices, and a flexible wage system, among other labour-related issues.

Singapore's tripartism model offers competitive advantage for the country by promoting economic competitiveness, harmonious labour-management relations and the overall progress of the nation. Singapore has only seen two major strikes in recent decades, once by shipyard workers in 1986 that was sanctioned by then NTUC secretary-general Ong Teng Cheong, and the November 2012 wildcat strike by Singapore Mass Rapid Transit (SMRT) Chinese national bus drivers.

The modernisation of the labour movement in the late 1960s has nurtured cooperation-based rather than confrontational labour relations between employees and employers. Today, rather than engaging in traditional adversarial unionism, union leaders in Singapore also sit on major statutory boards and are actively involved in state policymaking, allowing them to use negotiation, conciliation and arbitration, thus eradicating strikes and other industrial action as a form of settling labour disputes.

Legal aspects of workplace bullying

The law for workplace bullying is given below for each country in detail. Further European countries with concrete antibullying legislation are Belgium, France, and The Netherlands.

Letter of resignation

A letter of resignation is written to announce the author's intent to leave a position currently held, such as an office, employment or commission.

Such a letter will often take legal effect to terminate an appointment or employment, as notice under the relevant terms of the position; many appointments and contractual employments are terminable by unilateral notice, or advance notice of a specified period of time, with or without further conditions. Even where an oral notice would be effective, the effective date or time of termination may be directly or indirectly fixed on delivery of a written letter or email, for the sake of clarity and record. In response, different arrangements may be made or agreed, such as an earlier effective date, or improved terms and conditions of appointment upon withdrawal of the letter.

It should normally be delivered in advance to the appropriate supervisor or superior, and contain such information as the intended last day at work. A period of notice may be required expressly by contract, impliedly by the pay interval, or otherwise. Nevertheless, in practice, some resignations can be effective immediately.

For courtesy's sake, a letter of resignation may thank the employer for the pleasure of working under them and the opportunities and experience gained thereby, and also offer to assist with the transition by, for example, training the replacement. A more hostile letter may assert other sentiments or claims, particularly that the contract or terms of employment have been broken. In any case, the terms of the letter and its consequences may often be negotiated, either before or after delivery.

A formal letter with minimal expression of courtesy is then-President Richard Nixon's letter of resignation under the terms of a relatively unknown law passed by Congress March 1, 1792, likely drafted in response to the Constitution having no direct procedure for how a president might resign. Delivered to then-Secretary of State Henry Kissinger on 9 August 1974, it read simply, "I hereby resign the Office of President of the United States." It was simply dated, but Kissinger also recorded upon it the time of receipt.

It is advisable to write a resignation letter in order to leave a good impression on one's employer. Such a resignation letter paves way for a smooth exit interview.

Maria P. P. Root

Maria P. P. Root, Ph.D. (born September 13, 1955) is a clinical psychologist, educator, and public speaker based in Seattle, Washington. Her areas of work include multiracial families, multiracial identity, cultural competence, trauma, workplace harassment, and disordered eating. She is an international authority on mixed heritage identity, credited with publishing the first contemporary work on mixed-race people. She has presented lectures and training in various countries, both in and outside of academia.

Root has edited two award-winning books on multiracial people and produced the Bill of Rights for Racially Mixed People.[1] The U.S. Census referred to these two texts in the deliberations that resulted in a "check one or more races" format to the race question for the 2000 census.[2] In 1997, she received the American Psychological Association (APA) Award for Distinguished Contribution to Psychology in the Public Interest.Root is a former President of the Washington State Psychological Association. She has served as Chair of the APA Board for the Advancement of Psychology in the Public Interest and as a member-at-large on the Board of APA Division 45 (Society for the Psychological Study of Ethnic Minority Issues). Currently she has her own private practice. She has served on the advisory council of The Association of MultiEthnic Americans and the board of advisors of The Mavin Foundation.[3][4] She co-founded the Journal for Critical Mixed Race Studies in 2011.

Marriage leave

Marriage leave is the legal right to enjoy leave of absence by an employee due to him or her getting married without loss of wages. Irish civil servants are entitled 5 days. In Malta, every employee is entitled 2 days marriage leave.

Matt Conn

Matt Conn (born 1987) is the founder and former CEO of MidBoss. He is known for the creation of GaymerX, the cyberpunk story adventure game Read Only Memories, and producing the LGBTQ video game documentary Gaming In Color.He is also a founding member at BandPage, which was acquired by YouTube in 2016 and for winning the Travel Channel television program America's Worst Driver.On March 26, 2018, Conn stepped down from the board of GaymerX and as CEO of MidBoss after allegations of sexual abuse, underpaying workers, and workplace harassment.


MidBoss is an American video game and media production company that was founded by members of the GaymerX team as they expanded beyond GaymerX into other ventures, specifically Gaming in Color and 2064: Read Only Memories.On March 26, 2018, Matt Conn stepped down as CEO of MidBoss after allegations of sexual abuse, underpaying workers, and workplace harassment. He was temporarily replaced by Toni Rocca as interim CEO, before she resigned following accusation of workplace harassment. Cade Peterson was tapped as the new CEO in April 2018.

National average salary

The National Average Salary (or the National Average Wage) is the mean salary for the working population of a nation. It is calculated by summing all the annual salaries of all persons in work and dividing the total by the number of workers. It is not the same as the Gross domestic product (GDP) per capita, which is calculated by dividing the GDP by the total population of a country, including the unemployed and those not in the workforce (e.g. retired people, children, students, etc.).

No call, no show

A no call, no show is an American term for absence from the workforce without notifying the employer. This form of absence is generally deemed inconsiderate and unprofessional.


A sabbatical (from Hebrew: shabbat (שבת) (i.e., Sabbath), in Latin: sabbaticus, in Greek: sabbatikos (σαββατικός)) is a rest or break from work.

Sexual harassment

Sexual harassment is a type of harassment technique that relates to a sexual nature and the unwelcome or inappropriate promise of rewards in exchange for sexual favors. Sexual harassment includes a range of actions from mild transgressions to sexual abuse or assault. Harassment can occur in many different social settings such as the workplace, the home, school, churches, etc. Harassers or victims may be of any gender.In most modern legal contexts, sexual harassment is illegal. Laws surrounding sexual harassment generally do not prohibit simple teasing, offhand comments, or minor isolated incidents—that is due to the fact that they do not impose a "general civility code". In the workplace, harassment may be considered illegal when it is frequent or severe thereby creating a hostile or offensive work environment or when it results in an adverse employment decision (such as the victim's demotion, firing or quitting). The legal and social understanding of sexual harassment, however, varies by culture.

Sexual harassment by an employer is a form of illegal employment discrimination. For many businesses or organizations, preventing sexual harassment and defending employees from sexual harassment charges have become key goals of legal decision-making.

Worker class
Career and training
Wages and salaries
Safety and health
Aspects of workplaces
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