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Physical harassment in the workplace takes many forms.Sexual assault is one form of widely known physical harassment.
Anderson and Militello found that often managers exhibiting harassing behavior were allowed to maintain their jobs because their behavior was seen to increase productivity in the short term. Ryan and Daniel K Oestereich, Driving Fear Out of the Workplace, found that many of these behaviors can range from subtle emotional cues to outward physical threats and can include; silence, direct insults and even angry outbursts.
Whether these actions are intentional or brought on by stress, the result can cause the employee to feel humiliated, isolated and may cause them to lash out at others.
Both men and women are victims of workplace harassment.
Workplace harassment for women dates back to women's first foray into the workforce, as early as colonial times. workforce) identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender (LGBT)." Because an LGBT individual experiences explicit verbal assault, physical violence, and hate crimes after disclosing sexuality, the LGBT community more often than not conceals its sexuality in workplaces.
Sexual assault in the workplace has gained media and academic attention majorly in the 90s after a series of famous sex scandals."Among the most notorious are the 1991 congressional hearings on the alleged sexual harassment of Anita Hill by Clarence Thomas, nominee to the Supreme Court; the sexual assault on female officers at a party during the 1991 annual convention of Navy fighter pilots; the dismissal of Air Force pilot Kelly Flinn for adultery in 1997; the 1998 trial and acquittal of the top ranking Army enlisted man on charges of sexual harassment; and the independent counsel investigations of President Clinton's sexual affairs with subordinates." With this cascade of sex scandals, the media and scholars have focused on developing more studies on sexual harassment in workplaces.
Sexual assault becomes difficult to define, as the distinction between sexual harassment and consensual sexual behaviors is not finely delineated.In essence, workplace harassment requires pluralistic understanding, because it cannot be delineated in one coherent and concrete definition.Acknowledging the difficulty of formulating a universal definition of workplace harassment, Ezer broadly defines workplace harassment as "irrational repeated behavior towards an employee or group of employees, which represents a health and security risk.Secondly, the issues caused by workplace harassment affect the victims in harmful ways.Discrimination in the workplace hinders victims from successful advancement in their careers, limiting the capabilities of the victim.This unquestioned expectation from the employers then pushes the workers to see only two options.The workers would have to accept the sexual harassment from customers as "part of the job", or report the sexual harassment to the manager and get fired. Merit Systems Protection Board in 1981 shows that among the female government employees, 33 percent experienced sexual comments, 26 percent had unwanted physical touching, and 15 percent was pressured for dates.One common form of emotional abuse in workplace is bullying.Also known as mobbing, workplace bullying "is a long lasting, escalated conflict with frequent harassing actions systematically aimed at a target person." Specific actions of workplace bullying include the following: false accusations of mistakes and errors, hostile glares and other intimidating non-verbal behaviors, yelling, shouting, and screaming, exclusion and the "silent treatment," withholding resources and information necessary to the job, behind-the-back sabotage and defamation, use of put-downs, insults, and excessively harsh criticism, and unreasonably heavy work demands designed to ensure failure.The Northwestern National Life (1993) study showed 15 percent of respondents experienced physical attack at work, and 14 percent of respondents reported being physically attacked in the past 12 months.According to Keashly, emotional harassment can be defined as "the hostile verbal and nonverbal behaviors that are not explicitly tied to sexual or racial content yet are directed at gaining compliance from others." In short, emotional harassment is manipulation of people's actions through social behaviors.