Harassment includes all types of offensive behavior which is intended to upset or show disgrace to an individual. Any behavior of a person, a group of people, colleagues, and even the boss or senior are also included in harassment and these are all punishable offenses.
In India there are several strict laws and regulations present in the legal system for bullying anyone in the workplace. These laws are supposed to address all types of workplace harassment including discrimination, sexual and mental/psychological irritation caused by the employer.
Mental harassment or psychological harassment becomes a common problem in the workplaces now a day. Whether it is public sector or private sector, individuals are bullied, tortured and harassed mentally by the employer or colleagues.
Mental harassment not only make impact on the person’s mental health but also sense of well-being. If the amount of harassment increases, psychological impacts also increases. When stress goes unabated, it affects both a victim’s physical and mental health.
Psychological/emotional injuries due to mental harassment include anxiety, panic attacks, clinical depression, stress, shame, guilt, and sense of injustice.
When kids bully each other in the school, they are blamed for misconduct and punished. However, some adults too have the same habits of bullying their colleagues and sub-ordinates and for this they hardly get any punishments.
There is no one to throw an abusive and rude employer/boss out of the office because he/she growls at his/her employees in the most disgusting manner and makes them work till their last breath (after regular working hours). As a matter of fact, many employers/bosses start considering themselves as GOD of the office who can act according to his own whims towards his/her employees.
Discrimination at workplace
Discrimination at workplace is possibly the commonest form of harassment that most office goers have suffered at least once in their professional life. Discrimination can be made on the basis of complexion, religion, age, gender and origin. Harassment at workplace could mean abusive behavior by employee intending to disgrace and upset an individual. This individual could be both male and female.
Any upsetting behavior by colleagues, neighbors, and a group of people, supervisor, employee or the boss is all considered to be harassment. The laws are supposed to address all types of workplace harassment which includes discrimination or psychological irritation that is caused by the employer. In these terms the laws are same for men as well as women.
Furthermore, the laws that allows you to report any discrimination in regards to gender, age, complexion, religion, and caste also takes a step further. If your employee is not giving you salary slip, or even not paying your salary, then you have all the rights to report such a case.
Following are some common example of workplace harassment:
- Dispersion of untrue rumors, scandals at the workplace.
- Isolating an individual socially and professionally in the office.
- Threatening a person or dominating him/her unfairly.
- Deliberately discouraging a person.
- Physical abuse or intimidating someone with abusive languages.
- Eliminating one from his roles and responsibilities without any reason.
- Imposing unrealistic deadlines intentionally to make an individual fail.
- Holding back important information or providing wrong information.
- Cracking offensive jokes, especially in front of or about female colleagues.
- Causing unnecessary pressure on a particular person by assigning heavy workload when others are free.
- Screaming or abusing verbally on an employee.
- Intentionally and unreasonably criticizing an individual on regular basis.
- Holding back deserved leaves, promotions and payments.
Actions that you can take against Harassment:
When any of the above happens to an individual, it indicates that he/she is suffering from harassment. Be it the employer or co-workers, there are legal terms via which the offenders can be punished.
Indian constitution provides gender, racial and religious equality as the ‘Fundamental Right’ of the residents of the country in Part III, Articles- 14, 15, 16 which implies for the workplace as well. Hence one faces discrimination by the employer because of his/her race, complexion, gender, caste or origin; he/she can immediately seek legal advice by consulting with a lawyer.
However, if employees and workers do not become aware of their fundamental employee rights, it is almost impossible for the law and order system to protect them from the offensive employer activities. Also the workers of any company, or organization should have mutual integrity which will help them fight such issues more effectively.