The employment laws - workplace harassment

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The rights and regulations between an employer and their employees at work are established by job laws. The rights were created to protect employees' welfare and right to fair treatment by management and fellow employees. State constitutions and judicial decisions serve as the foundation for employment laws.

Harassment in the workplace

At work, harassment is a common practice that involves different forms of abuse and violent acts that vary depending on the group. A hostile workplace results from behaviors, morals, or communication that are inappropriate for the workplace on the part of an employer or employees. As a result, the behavior modifies the conditions, guidelines, and standards for a pleasant workplace for its employees. With freedom from abuse set as a right, any harm or menacing at places of work becomes an act of harassment. The workplace harassment aims at different target groups such as women, immigrants, homosexual and racial minority. Bullying poses risks to both health and security of the staffs in the firm as the victims are affected in harmful ways. Intimidation at workplaces demoralizes the victims and therefore hindering them from successful advancement. Covered below are some of the guidelines that would help reduce or terminate harassment at workplaces.

Employment Law-Harassment in the Workplace

Workplace hostility is as a result of menacing an individual employee or a group of staffs. The bullying involves various types of discriminations and violations that differ for different groups. The forms can be classified as either physical or emotional abuse. Workplaces should, however, develop standards, layout rules and duties for those responsible for tackling violence and intimidations at the workplace to influence a system that is internally responsible. In addition, actions, communication and behavior should be led by equal employment opportunity bodies created by the civil rights due to their discriminatory state. It is therefore necessary to note that every employee is responsible for a safe and healthy workplace. If at any point there arise any issues that affect the health and safety of the workers, then it should be reported to the stakeholders who in turn should look widely into the problems and address them. The leaders in the management of a firm have a significant role to play in ensuring that the health and safety at the workplace are well established and maintained. For a company to provide a safe place for all the employees, then it is necessary to look into the following issues: the fundamental laws in the situation, legal matters, the facts concerning those matters, the background of those legal issues and the precedent case (Hartley, 2002).

Legal Perspective

Legal matters are viewed from different perspectives where in this case we can divide it into three classes: The harasser, judicial system and the power of the minority. In the harasser class, work place is a place there are the powerful and the less powerful people. Therefore, the less great staff serves as the primary target to the dominant team due to their passive and fearful nature. In cases where a staff makes extreme jokes on sexual matters and circulates nude pictures should be considered guilty of sexual harassment and the making the work place a hostile working environment. Another class is the legal system where in incidents of harassment then the legal system should intervene. The judicial system judges or other juries may tend to undermine the opinions from the lesser staff in the company. The shared culture may tend to influence the case outcome. Hence the whole justice system has the wrong notion of the relation between those involved and those not leading to particular discriminatory acts by those involved. Some of the junior staff may face tough times in trying to tell their views to the court. The last one is the power of the minority which applies in cases of the staff that is from communities or cultures influenced by their way of behavior in the companies. We may have workers who were raised and became passive and therefore hard to bring out attention to anything. The submissive nature may lead to others who are actively taking advantage of the passive situation hence harassing them (Dorsen & Posner 2012).

Laws in Question

Companies have got some laws that must be applied for fairness to its employee and the people who ask for the jobs in the same group. Some of these rules are that: All staffs have the right to work in an area free from harassment, intimidations, and discrimination. The civil right act of 1964 and the following legislation influenced fair treatment to staffs that were from different diversities. To show that a person has been harassed then: the conduct must be unwelcoming; harassment must occur because of the person’s status or social class and it should affect the terms and conditions of the firm. The management should be active in tackling hostile morals that may be attached to the culture of the firm in question. Areas of high hostility are likely to absorb and accept acts likes racism or sexual harassment which initially was not as prevalent therefore termed as potential acts. It is appropriate for a worker to report such an action even if it was not directed to him or her. The company leaders should ensure that they are responsible for suitable working culture which is free from sexual of racism harassments. They should practice that by inventing and applying various practices to address the workplace deeds that are inappropriate and treat those involved appropriately. Both the management and staffs should comply with the rules and regulations that affect positively the health and safety caused by the firm's harassment. In connection to that, the employer should make sure that the risks that are likely to occur due to bullying in the workplaces are reduced or terminated (González, 2014).

Legal Issues

Legal issues at workplaces are that the management should show commitment by ensuring that all workers are well protected from any harassment. All hostility cases must be addressed for all workers and appropriate action taken to the involved parties. The behavior by the guilty party should show discrimination against the covered issues example age, ethnicity or religion. A persuasive behavior should be over a long period of time which has not been addressed well to make it stop. It should also be severe that the employees are seriously disrupted and their career progress interfered with. Therefore, for these reason rules and regulations of the company should be outlined as well as the duties for various workers to maintain and implement the laws involved. Legal issues should be reviewed and signed by the management to ensure that they are well known to all the workers. The employer must access the workplace hostility that may arise from working environment and the nature of work or the situations likely to lead to the violence (Dorsen & Posner, 2012). The employer must also initiate measures and methods to control the risks that are potential, and that could expose the worker to physical injury. A hostile work environment affects employees conduct and productivity and may become contagious to the rest of the departments. Therefore, the manager should ensure provision and maintenance of a conducive work environment to everybody resulting in fair treatment and justice in all cases presented to him/her.

Facts involved

At workplaces, harassment and intimidations are widespread and severe incidences to solve. The first thing a worker going through hostility in the workplace should do is to ask the guilty party to stop the bad act. If it is hard for them to do so then they can seek management help to address the issue before hostility becomes extreme. The department responsible for the arising matters regarding complains is the human resource department. The department professionals should be in a position to handle the complaint professionally as well as protect the company from any litigation. Any private details made to the human resource department by the workers must remain confidential. If there is any harassment complaint by the workers, then it can lead to revealing some of their sensitive details. The department is also responsible for investigating matters of the claim, but in a case where a worker is not comfortable with the complaint being exposed, it then becomes difficult. Staff should be made aware that complaint investigations not only help individuals but also the group in the company. Some sensitive issues like sexual hostility should be treated with much confidentiality and professionalism so that the victims feel free and comfortable while sharing the happenings with the involved department. It is also advisable that no discrimination should occur as a result of the employer acting on potential measures that would reduce or terminate harassments. It is, therefore, necessary that the human resource department know when the harassments are likely to occur, the kind of bullying, and how to handle them professionally (Dorsen & Posner 2012).

The Legal Background

A hostile workplace is where the workers feel scared to be in the working environment due to abuse, bullying, or even offensive morals. Law plays a vital role in determining the look of things that involve complicated factors such as the social, cultural norms, technology, and context, hence drawing and outlining boundaries. The boundaries are set to minimize the differences in subject opinions about individuals and the interactive persons. It also depicts a uniform and precise schedule for the involved to terminate irrelevancy. Decisions made may lack the aspect of social changes and then afterward affect someone in ways that could not be predicted earlier. Individuals have no control over the bargaining power that leads to making changes. In the United States, the law identifies those that are covered by specific laws and the necessary measures of the relationship between the patient and the physicians. If all individuals were told about the problems involved with the biased information, it would prevent quick improper decisions which may reward soonest but have consequences later on. The weight of a conflict or hostility is minimized when the law is applied but becomes difficult when the fact is statutorily done (Vohlídalová, 2011).

Precedent-setting cases

The precedent-setting cases are rules that were developed from the earlier legal cases. The court plays a significant role in deciding cases following the set rules so that similar facts would give outcomes that are predictable. The precedent doctrine is also known as a rigid doctrine which is kept to observe consistency. Certainty in the law was necessary than the probability that unfair opinions would result from following decisions made by the earlier followings'. The need for this ruling is that it will ensure that the victim of hostility can sue the guilty in court and the case be heard by the judge then will be able to challenge an order by the court that attempts to force the matter to arbitration. A precedent-setting case statute protects a worker whose complaints about harassment are of their work mate. The importance of the setting is that it provides some guarantee of the law. As some cases adequate similar materials facts are bound to the pasts, it gives some clue of the case decisions. A precedent case may at times lead to unjust opinions due to following of the earlier decisions. There are chances for hindering rigidity of judicial precedent to prove that it does not layout some allowance for flexibility. Due to its strict application, the rigid doctrine of the precedent can be termed as a restraint on law development (Hernández, 2004). The Human resources manager should solve workplace harassment by accessing either the corroboration or even the contradiction and keep it confidential to himself. Bullying in the workplace should be addressed by the relevant leader getting to the heart of the matter and try to solve the problem before it gets worse (Dorsen, & Posner 2012). The manager may also resolve the issue by referring the employee to a grievance procedure, or it may solve by the legal authorities.


In workplaces, hostility cases should be investigated and handled with all due fairness. The primary objective should be finding out the leading cause of the contrary conduct and coming up with the exact answers but not drawing unnecessary conclusions. Excellent assessment of complaints and performing workplace investigations in the right way then creates a conducive environment for the employer as well as the workers too will be motivated. The need for creating such a situation is that it leads to risks reduction. Any management that does not investigate well cases involving their employees' harassment; then they risk being victims under the rights of the workers that may be applicable. Also, crimes can also arise due to the wrong accusation of an employee as a result of false allegations that cannot be argued out. Finally, an employer should be able to manage risks by implementing and communicating clear policies at the workplace and carrying out thorough and fair investigations into the complaints arising due to breaches of laws in the firm. Organizations should adapt an open door policy to foster communication with the juniors in case of anything including hostile and uncomfortable working environments.


Dorsen, D., & Posner, R. (2012). Business Law.In Henry Friendly, Greatest Judge of His Era (pp. 249-271).

Cambridge, Massachusetts; London, England: Harvard University Press González-Ricoy, I. (2014).

The Republican Case for Workplace Democracy. Social Theory and Practice,40(2), 232-254.

Hernández, T. (2004). The Racism of Sexual Harassment. In Mackinnon C. &SIEGEL R. (Eds.), Directions in Sexual Harassment Law (pp. 479-495).

New Haven; London: Yale University Press Hartley, J. (2002).

Business Law.GPSolo,19(7), 16-18.

Vohlídalová, M. (2011). The Perception and Construction of Sexual Harassment by Czech

University Students. Sociologický Časopis / Czech Sociological Review,47(6), 1119-1147.

July 15, 2023

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