Signs of Harassment and Discrimination in a Remote Workplace
With improvements in technology, remote work opportunities have been more common, including here in the Daytona Beach and Palm Coast, FL, area. While working from home offers many benefits, some people may encounter challenges with their new employer or fellow employees. At Chanfrau & Chanfrau, our employment law attorneys discuss the signs of harassment and discrimination in a remote workplace. Here, we provide some remote workplace harassment and discrimination examples.
How Does Discrimination and Harassment Occur in a Remote Setting?
While it may seem that working in a remote setting would reduce discrimination and harassment in the workplace, it can result in new, unique opportunities for these problems to occur. Employees may feel more comfortable saying things when they are behind a computer screen and don’t ever have to see people in person. Or, because meeting attendees can’t be seen by everyone, it can create more opportunities for exclusion. Some forms of discrimination and harassment in remote settings include:
When another employee makes offensive comments or slurs in written communication, such as emails, chat messages, or video calls, it can be considered verbal harassment. Harassment can include belittling, insulting, or demeaning fellow employees. Sexual harassment can also occur through written messages and video calls.
When employees use the company’s messaging platforms to harass or intimidate another worker, this could be considered cyberbullying. Spreading false information, sending offensive memes, and online stalking are all examples of cyberbullying.
When managers or meeting organizers deliberately exclude employees from virtual meetings, group chats, or projects, this can be a form of discrimination.
In some cases, employers distribute work unequally on remote teams. Some team members may be given more opportunities, while others are assigned mundane tasks. Or, some employees may be held to a higher standard, in terms of production or quality, compared to others.
Hostile Work Environment
Inappropriate comments, jokes, or behaviors in video meetings, chats, or emails can result in a hostile work environment. If offensive or sexually suggestive content is shared within the team, this can also be cause for a workplace discrimination lawsuit.
Lack of Support
When certain remote employees aren't given the resources, training, or accommodations they require, this lack of support can be considered discrimination. This often affects individuals with disabilities.
There are other types of discrimination and harassment that can take place at work, including microaggressions, stereotyping, unconscious bias, retaliation, and wrongful termination.
What Are the Protected Classes from Employment Discrimination?
- Sex (this includes gender identity, pregnancy, and sexual orientation)
- National origin
- Age (40 or older)
- Genetic information
Contact Chanfrau & Chanfrau
If you suspect that you are a victim of employment discrimination or harassment, it is important to document all incidents to the best of your ability. Provide screen recordings, save chat transcripts and emails, keep all performance reviews, and report issues to Human Resources via written text. All documentation you provide can serve as evidence and help our Daytona Beach lawyers build a stronger case. To find out if you have an employment discrimination or harassment case, contact Chanfrau & Chanfrau.