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When Eye Contact Is Really Discrimination

Some Ohio workers may be subject to what is referred to as subtle harassment. Actions may include making too much or not enough eye contact. Simply glancing too many times in a person’s direction or the way that someone looks at a colleague could also be considered discrimination or harassment. While it can be hard to define subtle discrimination, it can be just as damaging as unwelcome touching or comments of a racist or sexual nature.

In some cases, looking at a person or offering to help an individual are not done with malicious intent. For example, a colleague may want to help another person walk on a slippery floor or with the pile of papers that he or she is carrying. Of course, it is important for workers to distinguish between disrespect and social awkwardness. Some people won’t look anyone in the eye or stare at everyone who walks through their field of vision.

Regardless of the type of complaint a person wishes to make, that individual should be able to bring up the matter with HR without feeling foolish. Once a complaint is made, HR should take action if it is warranted even if it can be difficult to communicate what is taking place. Those who witness harassment are encouraged to say something when they see it occur.

Anyone who feels as if they have been discriminated against may want to consider their legal rights. In some workplace discrimination cases, it may be possible to obtain compensation or other relief from an employer. Compensation may be awarded if a person was wrongfully terminated or if discrimination led to a demotion or stopped a person from advancing within the company.

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