EEO Training: Harrassment In The Workplace

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DisclaimerAll information contained in this presentationincluding photographs and drawings areprovided for general information purposesonly by the Department of Budget &Management, and the Office of the StatewideEqual Employment Opportunity Coordinator.All photographs and drawings were obtainedfrom the Microsoft Clip Art software.2

By the end of this training, you will: Be able to identify what constitutes harassmentin the workplace; Know how to avoid and prevent harassingbehavior; Know what to do should you become a victim.3


Harassment Unlawful harassment is unwelcome intimidation, ridicule,insult, comments, or physical conduct based on aperson’s race, color, religion, sex (whether or not of asexual nature), national origin, age, disability, sexualorientation, retaliation or any other protected group.5

Harassment is unlawful when an employee’sacceptance or rejection of such conductexplicitly or implicitly forms the basis for anemployment decision affecting the employee.This type of harassment is known as Quid ProQuo; the Latin expression meaning “this forthat”. This type of harassment is usually6associated with sexual harassment complaints.

Harassment is also unlawful when the conduct orcomments have the purpose or effect of unreasonablyinterfering with an individual’s work performance orcreating an abusive, intimidating or offensive workenvironment. This type of harassment usually does notresult in a tangible related personnel action.7


Harassment Can Be Based On Sex, Sexual Orientationor Gender Identity notincluding a co-worker inwork-related activitiesbecause of their sex,sexual orientation orgender identity. Age whether you are 18or 80, age related jokes,cartoons or commentsare not acceptable.9

Harassment Can Be Based On Religious beliefs orpractices or nonbeliefs or practices. Your Nationality,place of origin, orassociation with agroup of people whoshare a commonlanguage, culture, orancestry.10

Harassment Can Be Based On Race whether white,black, Asian, Indian orany other race orcolor. Disability whether aphysical or mentaldisability.11

Harassment can include sending inappropriateemails, text messages or pictures that mayoffend, degrade or intimidate someone 12

displaying offensive objects, posters or picturesin your work area 13

gossiping or spreading rumors about a co-worker 14

telling insensitive jokes about a person 15

looks or gestures that threaten, intimidate orhumiliate a co-worker.16

Harassment can occur not only with co-workersor someone in management, but even nonemployees, such as contractors, consultants,delivery persons, vendors or customers.17

Harassment may occur at conferences, workparties, dinner with clients, or other events thatan employee may represent the agency.18



This could be defined as hostilework environment harassmentdue to race and/or nationalitybased on Janet’s boss’s commentthat he doesn’t like Asians.21


This could be consideredharassment based on nationalityor origin. The other employeesmay not direct their jokes at Raj,but he can hear them. Therefore,they could be creating a hostileworking environment for Raj andother employees. The victim doesnot have to be the personharassed, but could be anyoneaffected by the offensive conduct.23


This harassment is based onsex. Megan’s boss’s commentsdisplays his bias thinking aboutwomen in the workplace.25



This is possible DisabilityHarassment based on Tom’scomments to Susan about herwheelchair.28



It is possible that Phyllis's bossis taking such action against herbecause of rejection to his sexualadvances.31

Monica refuses to approve Stuart’sleave request during the JewishPassover observance. She statesthat she was not “kosher” with himtaking off during this time of the year.32

Stuart is being treated differently based onhis religion. The comment by hissupervisor displays possible bias thinkingin regards to religious practices.33


Harassment can result in disciplinary action, upto and including dismissal from employment.35

If you feel that you are beingharassed,What Should You Do?36

If you feel comfortable enough, inform the offendingperson that his or her conduct is unwelcome and shouldcease immediately. The alleged harasser may havesome reason to believe that the behavior may bewelcome. Otherwise 37


Laws are in place to protect employees fromunlawful harassment. Your filing rights maybe found in State Personnel and PensionsArticle § 5-203. All harassment should bereported.39

Retaliation against an employee for filing acomplaint or participating in an investigationis not permitted. This can also lead todisciplinary action up to and includingdismissal from employment.40



THINK BEFORE YOU SPEAK! Consider how you would react if the samebehavior were directed toward yourspouse, significant other, or familymember. Ask yourself whether you would act thesame way in front of your spouse,significant other, or child. Avoid behavior that demeans, degrades,abuses, or shows disrespect to anyindividual.43

Recognize that the same remarks or gestures that seemacceptable to some people may be embarrassing, offensive, orunwanted by others. Ask yourself how you would feel if your behavior were capturedon video, reported in print, or highlighted on the nightly news. Respect Everyone!44 Speak-up Against Harassment!


Scenario AIf a person starts making jokes of a sexualnature in the workplace among his or hercoworkers, and only one person isoffended, can he or she file a complaint?Yes or No46

YES!Even if only one person is offended by thejokes, or comments, that person can makea complaint. Comments and/or jokes of asexual nature are not appropriate for theworkplace.47

Scenario BThere is nothing wrong with giving a coworkera hug if that is your way of greeting people inthe workplace.True or False48

FALSE!Anything more than a handshake maybe perceived as unwanted advance orunwelcome. Even if you are a“hugging” kind of person, you neverknow how it will be received by anotherindividual.49

Scenario COnly a manager or supervisor can beaccused of harassment.True or False50

FALSE!Anyone can be accused of harassment inthe workplace, regardless of position orrank. That includes contractors, vendors,and anyone having interaction withemployees in the workplace.51

Scenario DEmployees have a right to express theirpersonal beliefs about other nationalitiesbecause freedom of speech is theirconstitutional right.True or False52

FALSEEmployees under the authority of theState of Maryland are required toadhere to rules and guidelinesregarding harassment.Therefore, certain comments andgestures could be inappropriate for theworkplace.53




orientation, retaliation or any other protected group. 6 Harassment is unlawful when an employee’s acceptance or rejection of such conduct explicitly or implicitly forms the basis for an employment decision affecting the employee. This type of harassment is know

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