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Recognizing and dealing with harassment in the workplace

Harassment in the workplace can take many forms. While sexual harassment has lately been a hot topic, in reality there are types of non-sexual harassment that are also very common. In general, harassment can have a negative impact on your career. It is important to understand and recognize different forms of harassment so that you can take steps to prevent or confront it.

If you feel like you might be experiencing harassment at your Kansas City workplace, it is vital that you understand how to file a claim and what to do if you experience retaliation for reporting the harassment. The following can help you handle harassment in the workplace.

Different kinds of harassment

As mentioned above, there are many types of harassment. Abuse can be verbal, physical, sexual or mental. It could be based on gender or gender-identity, religion or race or some other unlawful bias. Some states have extended harassment to include other factors as well.

Sexual and non-sexual harassment

Typically, sexual harassment consists of comments and behavior that the receiver did not invite or welcome. This unwanted conduct usually centers around sex, gender or sexual orientation (actual or perceived). Sexual harassment is not limited to harassers of the opposite sex, nor does it have to extend so far as touching or verbal comments in order to be unacceptable.

Non-sexual harassment usually involves negative actions based on race, age, religion, mental and physical condition and various other personal characteristics. If these negative actions affect job performance or create a hostile workplace, the victims may be able to successfully file harassment claims.

Filing a claim

If you think that you have suffered workplace harassment, you should carefully examine the incident and determine if it counts as harassment under Missouri law. Once you have done this, it may be time to file a claim with your employer's Human Resources department or the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).

If you lose your job after filing a claim

It is not unheard of for an employer to retaliate if an employee files a harassment claim. But employment laws protect you from retaliation for filing harassment claims. Therefore, you may be able to take further actions to protect your legal rights.

If you have experienced harassment in the workplace, take the time to learn what qualifies as harassment and what your rights are. You may be able to file a legal claim against your employer or the harasser if you have suffered damages due to workplace harassment.

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