Workplace Harassment in the Digital Age
Workplace Harassment in the Digital Age

Workplace Harassment in the Digital Age

Harassment on the job can take many damaging forms, but the rise of digital communications has greatly increased the opportunities available. While the basic forms of harassment at work haven’t changed much, digital mediums create inroads that weren’t available in the past. If you are the victim of workplace harassment – whether digital or otherwise – you shouldn’t delay seeking the skilled legal guidance of an experienced Bay Area workplace discrimination attorney

Remote Work and Digital Harassment  

The New York Times reports that many believed the upside to working remotely would be a decrease in workplace harassment, but that hasn’t been the case. In fact, too many employees have experienced an opening-of-the-floodgate effect when it comes to rules and regulations being ignored. 

What Is Digital Harassment?

Much like traditional workplace harassment, digital harassment refers to an employee experiencing harassment of any kind as a result of being a member of a protected class. This harassment can include lording power over a colleague, subordinate, or employee, which leads to a hostile work environment that can leave employees feeling unsafe, unprotected, or threatened in relation to their identity. Digital harassment can also impede an employee’s ability to do their job. 

Ultimately, all the following can amount to harassment:

  • Words 
  • Images 
  • Behaviors – whether they are in-person or not

Why Remote Work Hasn’t Diminished Workplace Harassment

Digital connections can embolden harassers to unleash their ugly practices on recipients who are more vulnerable than they are. What an employee or employer says or does at work can be difficult to hide, but electronic communications often go unmonitored and can occur on platforms that aren’t sponsored by the employer. 

When no one’s paying attention, it can tempt individuals who would otherwise maintain greater self-control to let loose, which can lead to harassment. When communications are sent electronically, they bypass witnesses, and those on the receiving end of the harassment are often too intimidated to do anything about it. 

Protected Classes

The list of classes that are protected from harassment is long, and in California, it includes all the following:

  • The employee’s age – if they are over 40
  • The employee’s race, skin color, ancestry, and national origin, including their mother tongue
  • The employee’s religion, which includes any associated grooming or dress practices 
  • The employee’s marital status
  • The employee’s request for leave under the California Family Rights Act (CFRA)
  • The employee’s sex, gender, gender identity, gender expression, or sexual orientation
  • Any medical conditions or medical history the employee has
  • Any disability the employee has
  • The employee’s military or veteran status

An Experienced Bay Area Workplace Discrimination Attorney Is Standing By to Help

If you are the victim of digital harassment, the Bay Area workplace discrimination attorneys at Minnis & Smallets have the compassion and legal skills to help. Your rights as an employee are important, and protecting them can directly affect your career and emotional well-being. To learn more, please don’t wait to contact us today.

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