What Is Power Harassment? Types, Example, Solution, 6 Facts

There are numerous types of workplace harassment, and despite social movements encouraging victims to speak out, the problem shows no signs of abating. There are a lot of individuals in the world today who are suffering from these awful ailments.

Power Harassment occurs when a supervisor harasses an employee. Most workers learn to cope with harassment for the sake of survival and growth.

This results in suppressed emotions and stress, which, in the worst-case scenario, might impact a person’s mental health and render them unable to work.

What Is Power Harassment?

When an individual is subjected to discriminatory or abusive behavior on the work, this is referred to as harassment from a position of authority.

In many circumstances, this type of behavior extends far beyond the usual employer-employee relationship and into considerably more dangerous territory. If workplace harassment is common, victims may have legal recourse if the harassment is severe enough.

What Is Power Harassment?

Understanding Power Harassment

The workplace is a place where everyone should feel at ease and secure. Unfortunately, there are times when workers are treated in ways that go well beyond what is appropriate between a management and his or her crew.

Nobody in authority should ever be allowed to use their power to intimidate or discriminate against others. In such a work environment, all employees, not just those who are harassed, may feel unsafe and uneasy.

Any sort of physical intimidation or abuse directed at an employee by a supervisor is completely inappropriate. Psychological abuse, a more subtle kind of power harassment, occurs when an employer makes improper verbal threats or disparaging words to an employee.

Long-term exposure to this type of behavior can be harmful to an employee, especially if the victim believes they are being singled out.

Types Of Power Harassment

1. Physical Abuse

This is a serious sort of power harassment, yet it happens all too often. Physical force is used, such as hitting, gripping, poking, or even flinging something.

What Is Power Harassment?

Physical abuse includes whatever the abuser does to make you fear for your physical safety, even if no injuries occur. When an employee or observer of workplace violence is subjected to or sees abusive behavior by a superior, power harassment occurs.

2. Emotional Abuse

This type of abuse of authority is unfortunately rather common. Verbal abuse may take many different forms, including insults, threats, roughness, humiliation, and mockery. Abuse can take the shape of e-mail or other types of written communication, as well as spoken contact.

Emotional abuse may be hazardous to your mental health and can lead to depression, which can impair performance and lead to further abuse.

Being locked in this vicious cycle can be exceedingly dangerous and, in extreme cases, lead to suicide. If you are a victim of power harassment, know that you have the ability to break the cycle.

3. Isolation from Human Relationships

Ignoring your job is a form of neglect. Assume you present your work at a meeting and no one questions or exhibits interest in it. Another example is ignoring your inquiries. I’ve been in this situation before, and I’ve wondered whether I’d died and my soul was merely asking the question.

What Is Power Harassment?

4. Excessive Demands

This form of power harassment is fairly common and may be quite stressful. It entails being assigned duties that are clearly unnecessary or impossible. Your boss may assign you a large amount of work at the end of the day.

One of the duties he or she may assign to you would be difficult for a single individual to do. Or they assign you new chores that take away from the ones you were previously assigned.

You are exposed to power harassment if your employer assigns work that you are unable to do, even if you work exceedingly hard, or if your supervisor assigns work without providing the required support or time to complete it.

5. Demeaning Demands

Employees are frequently assigned work that is under their talent level or just have less work to perform than their counterparts.

Although it appears to be an advantage, it is actually a form of power harassment. This includes being assigned low-level work that is unrelated to job tasks, experience, and talents, as well as being refused from assignments.

You are experiencing power harassment if, despite your requests for more difficult duties, you are consistently assigned jobs that are beneath your abilities.

6. Individual Intrusion

For example, intruding into an employee’s personal life or sexual harassment. Power harassment has been a common occurrence for as long as both sexes have worked together, but the issue has evolved with time to include complexity that make recognizing such behavior more difficult.

What Is Power Harassment?

The normal power relationship between a male boss and his female secretary has long been a sore point in the office when it comes to sexual harassment. Homosexual employees in today’s companies may experience harassment if their supervisors make fun of their sexual orientation.

Power Harassment Examples

The most common example is a management mistreating an employee who is in a bad mood. This might manifest as dismissive reactions to employee inquiries, blaming staff for their own ineptitude, and concealing vital information from an employee who needs to know.

Power harassment can also take the following forms:

  • Physical attacks, which include acts of aggression or force
  • Psychological attacks include intimidation and verbal abuse.
  • Any sort of segregation or ostracism
  • Excessive Requirements (e.g. assigning work that is impossible to perform or obviously unnecessary)
  • Workers are subjected to demeaning demands (such as giving them work that is plainly below their skill level, or giving them no job at all)
  • Invasion of personal space, even at work

How to Deal with Power Harassment

Because the employer is automatically accountable for supervisory harassment that results in a negative employment action (such as termination, failure to promote or hire, and salary loss), every complaint must be examined immediately and efforts to terminate the harassment implemented as soon as feasible.

To prevent power harassment in the workplace, take the following steps:

What Is Power Harassment?

  • Collect evidence: The gathering of evidence is critical. If we don’t have it when the time comes, we’ll have to cry ourselves to sleep.
  • Report to the company’s counseling service or HR: If they are from the same department, they may also side with the culprit. As a result, someone higher up the chain of command than the boss may be preferred. Someone from another department could be a better fit.
  • Consult a third-party organization: We can’t accomplish it without some help from within the organization, and there might not be anyone available to help. As a result, we must seek outside support.
  • Consult a lawyer: If the refusal is severe enough, we may have to go to court.
  • Consider job change or resignation: Leaving a job is a last resort. When we succumb to power harassment, we feel helpless. Instead of being overwhelmed by that type of job, we should definitely search for a different area to live.

What Employees Do When Power Harassment

When an employee feels harassment has occurred, he or she must report the occurrence so that appropriate action may be done. Employees usually keep silent because they are terrified of losing their employment as a result of the procedure.

A worker can register a complaint with the company’s human resources department. If that doesn’t work, the employee may need to consult with a lawyer to evaluate whether the behavior is grounds for a legal claim.

What Is Power Harassment?


Power harassment is defined as any action in which a superior utilizes his or her position in the workplace to cause physical or emotional distress to coworkers.

This might be due to a higher level of status at work, a larger size, or some other aspect. Power harassment include the actions of a superior toward a subordinate, peers toward a superior, or a subordinate toward a superior, all of which are motivated by size.

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Pat Moriarty
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