Before proceeding to determine the meaning of the term workplace harassment, it is essential to determine the etymological origin of the two words that shape it. In this sense, both derive from Latin:
• Harassment, comes from “cursus”, which can be translated as “career”.
• Labor, emanates from the sum of the noun “labor”, which is synonymous with “work”, and from the suffix “-al”, which means “relative to”.
It is expected that, in the field of work, each person acts responsibly, fulfilling their obligations and working as a team with their colleagues. This, however, does not always occur. A worker may be the victim of bullying when another employee or your boss are dedicated to harassing.
The English language uses the concept of mobbing to refer to excessive pressure and symbolic violence that is exerted within the workplace. The person who suffers from this harassment may be tormented with malicious comments or repeatedly hear exaggerated criticism of their performance or ability. In general, the intention of the harasser is for the victim to quit his job or change his behavior, since this is contrary to his interests.
The harasser, therefore, may mobbing against someone who appears to be a competitor or who could remove him from a place of power. Workplace bullying can also appear when the harasser attempts to extort money from a worker.
Many and varied are the signs that can indicate that a person is being a victim of workplace harassment at work. Specifically, among the most frequent are the following:
• You receive a totally different treatment from the alleged harasser, either by indifference or exclusion, compared to other employees.
• He is the object of all kinds of insults, screaming and other verbal attacks.
• The stalker does not hesitate to spread rumors and falsehoods about the victim, to undermine his image and reputation.
• The victim is forced to face a significant volume of work by the harasser, who also gives him a minimum time to complete it, making it impossible for him to complete it.
• Whoever commits workplace harassment does not hesitate to prevent their victim from being transferred from the department or from being promoted. That is, it restricts all its movements.
• The person who suffers from this problem sees how he is continually ridiculed by the “aggressor”, who also hides information from him so that he cannot carry out his work correctly and thus can later accuse him of negligence.
It is important to differentiate between normal pressure that a boss can exert on an employee and workplace harassment. If the person in charge of a company is not satisfied with the performance of a worker, they have the right to let him know and even sanction him. However, if the authority disrespects (either in private or in public), demands the fulfillment of impossible goals to achieve or hinders the employee so that he cannot carry out the daily tasks efficiently, it can speak of workplace harassment.
It should be noted that the victim of workplace harassment can suffer from nervous disorders (such as depression or stress) to psychosomatic illnesses. Given the impossibility of reporting the harasser when the harasser is responsible for the company and wants to keep the job, experts recommend adopting an assertive behavior that allows them to respond to grievances while avoiding confrontation.