The Workplace Harassment Meter

with Resolution Options

Ignorant Harassment

  • The person is ignorant or unaware their behavior is unacceptable 
  • They don’t appear to have a motive
  • Usually occurs in plain site, out in the open 
  • References stereotypes to explain or reference behavior, in both positive and negative terms
  • Many times the people they are referring to are not in the room
  • Telling jokes or stories that reference gender, sexual orientation, race, color etc.
  • Often happens more than one time
  • May use terminology that was once socially acceptable

Resolution Options:

  • Address the behavior directly [HERE]
  • Report to your boss [HERE]
  • Report to Human Resources [HERE]

Disguised Harassment

  • Subtle, passive aggressive behavior
  • Intentional, motive driven
  • Creates a power imbalance
  • Can be explained away by harasser, gaslighting 
  • Difficult to prove
  • Thinly veiled propositions, innuendos etc.
  • Sharing inappropriate stories, jokes, media
  • Social touching, invading personal space

Resolution Options:

  • Address the behavior directly [HERE]
  • Report to your boss [HERE]
  • Report to Human Resources [HERE]

Direct Harassment

  • Direct, out in the open, intentional and with motive
  • Harasser will most likely have status at the company
  • Harasser feels confident they won’t be held accountable
  • Propositions with or without implied threat
  • Quid pro quo proposition
  • Sharing inappropriate stories, jokes, media
  • Touching, invading personal space

Resolution Options:

  • Report to Human Resources [HERE]
  • File complaint with EEOC [HERE]
  • Consult an Attorney [HERE]

Criminal Harassment

  • Direct, with intent
  • Indecent exposure
  • Physical assault
  • Sexual assault
  • Threatening assault with bodily harm, use of weapon
  • Stalking

Resolution Options:

  • Report to Human Resources [HERE]
  • File complaint with EEOC [HERE]
  • Consult an Attorney [HERE]
  • File charges with your local police department [See RAINN for more information resources and options]

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