Technology brings distinct forms of workplace harassment

On Behalf of | Mar 16, 2022 | Employee Rights

There was a time when workplace harassment was limited to in-person interactions. However, amid 21-Century advancements – and COVID – that time is long gone. Over the past two decades, technology has brought a number of benefits to business entities and employees, but also numerous downsides.

Cyberbullying is one example. Cyberbullying in the workplace can take on several different forms – all extremely damaging to the recipient. 

Bullying via email

When the internet sprang to life in households and businesses alike, one of the common ways to communicate was via email. Fast forward a few decades and this form of communication is still widely used today in employment settings across the nation. However, such communication is a method some employees use to harass others. Messages often take the form of threats, insults or embarrassing smears. 

Social media

A majority of people today use a social media platform. And their involvement and activity isn’t solely limited to family and friends, but co-workers too. A co-worker who isn’t entirely comfortable sending inappropriate messages to another via a work email addresses, which could be traced or monitored, may opt to send messaging via Facebook, Instagram, etc.

A co-workers who is “friends” with another on Facebook or other medium may choose to also write an embarrassing or inappropriate post or post a picture that is visible to other co-workers within the company. 

What can be done?

Cyberbullying in the workplace should be treated like any other harassment. Supervisors should be notified, on alert and ready to take action if an employee speaks up about a co-worker’s inappropriate threats, texts, comments or any other indecent behavior. Another avenue is an employee’s human resources department. A professional in HR should be well equipped to handle these and other discrimination issues employees face.

If, however, management nor HR is taking action, employees should not give up. Other legal options are available.

 

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