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Posted 08/19/2022 by Sirmabekian Law Firm

4 Different Types Of Abuse In The Workplace

4 Different Types Of Abuse In The Workplace

Abuse in the workplace is defined as behavior that causes emotional or bodily harm to employees. Bullying, discrimination, violence, and harassment are some forms of workplace abuse. It can be difficult to distinguish these behaviors from one another due to overlapping similarities. Let’s discuss the four common types of abuse in the workplace to help you understand them better.             


If you have been verbally threatened or isolated by your coworkers, this behavior is considered a form of bullying. Bullies in the workplace can cause you to feel fear and anxiety that can lead to depression or the development of post-traumatic disorder symptoms. They may also choose to overlook your contributions or achievements in order to make you feel unimportant. Other tactics they can use include spreading rumors or gossiping about you and sabotaging your work.


According to the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA), violence in the workplace is defined as an act or threat of bodily harm against another at the work site. The abuser might physically attack the victim or intimidate them using verbal abuse.

Workplace violence can result in homicide, which has been reported as the fourth leading cause of occupational injuries in the United States. Several factors increase the risk of violence, including working alone late at night or in secluded areas. Cashiers and other employees who need to exchange money with the public also face high risks of violence. Other frequent victims of violence include customer service personnel, delivery drivers, law enforcement agents, and health care workers.


Discrimination happens when you are treated unfairly due to age, religion, race, ethnicity, gender, or sexual orientation. Discriminating against employees is illegal according to state and federal laws. Discriminatory actions include denying you a job opportunity or making decisions that are unfair to you in certain categories. Anti-discrimination laws are in place to protect workers and cover all areas of employment, including hiring, wages, layouts, and firing.

Workplace discrimination can lead to social effects such as low productivity, lousy performance, and isolation. Workers may also experience physical effects like headaches, high blood pressure, and sleep deprivation. Emotional effects like depression, anxiety, a lack of self-confidence, and helplessness are also likely to happen to victims of discrimination.


Harassment includes comments or actions that an employee finds offensive. You don’t have to be the harasser’s target; you can be the third party who has heard or witnessed the behavior. According to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, harassment is unlawful when it becomes so serious that the workplace environment becomes toxic and you have to tolerate the misconduct to keep your job.

Violence, bullying, and discrimination often come under workplace harassment. Thus, victims of harassment tend to suffer from similar physical, social, and emotional effects as other types of workplace abuse. If you are a victim of workplace abuse, don’t keep your silence. Sirmabekian Law Firm understands the stress you may be facing and how it can impact you and your family. We can guide you through the steps you can take and help you file a claim for workplace abuse. Contact us to schedule a free initial consultation.

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