You probably know a co worker who is being bullied by other co workers due to his/her disability. Or perhaps you had (or currently) been sexually harassed by your supervisor and you are not sure what to do.
Harassment/discrimination can happen to both men and women however, harassment can be based on gender, age, disability (including pregnancy), nationality, religion, and sexual orientation. Many employees were able to report these incidents to the proper channels while other employees did not take any action.
It’s important to understand how workplace harassment can affect you. The hostile work environment can lead to ongoing nervousness, sadness, irritability, hopelessness, damage self-esteem, inability to trust others, changes in sleep patterns, changes in appetite, and decline work performance. While you are suffering with these issues, the employer and/or co worker(s) who are involve are gaining power by continuing with their antics.
So what are you going to do about this situation? Many people believe it’s easier to quit their job, and move on to the next job since they don’t want to create further issues or should I say rock the boat. But when you do that, you are running away from the problem which will continue with future employees and you are unable to get closure for yourself. Understand that hostile work environment is a traumatic experience which can affect how you perform if you were to work at a new job location.
David H. Rosenberg ESQ, is a labor and employment attorney in Mineola, NY who represents employees suffering from hostile work environments. He has seen first hand how employees handle their situation prior to meeting with him. “Too many people are quick to resign from their job before finding out their legal rights as an employee. A resignation gives the Company a chance to claim “voluntary resignation” as opposed to “termination”. Resignation can also destroy an employee’s right to collect unemployment. More so, employees without insurance coverage face financial hardships when it comes to paying for a mental healthcare professional to help treat the emotional trauma suffered as a result of the discrimination and/or termination” he added.
So here is a quick recap on how to handle workplace harassment:
- Become familiar with the workplace harassment policies at your job.
- Seek legal consultation with a labor attorney who can guide you through the steps in handling the situation and advocate for you.
- Do not resign your job just yet (unless your safety is at risk). Refer to step #2
- Get counseling from a therapist to help deal with stress and trauma of your situation. Take advantage of Employment Assistance Program (EAP) that is offered through your employer. Your sessions with the therapist are confidential with EAP and private therapy.
- Identify your support network for this stressful time.
Once you complete these simple steps, you will feel empowered and prepared with information to help you get through this situation. You are not alone and you are still a human being who have legal rights as well as feelings. You got this!
David Rosenberg ESQ, is a labor attorney in Mineola, NY who represents hostile work environments for the past 11 years. Free legal consultations available for residents of NYC and Long Island. For further information on his legal services, please call 516 741-0300 or visit his website at