A Zaozhuang City, China beauty company subjected some of its employees to a public spectacle that may qualify as a hostile work environment. Certain female employees that did not achieve sales goals were seen crawling on hands and knees down a busy city road. The procession was led by a male employee, who was walking and waving a company flag.
Police arrived and put a stop to things, but not before it was captured on film; it soon went viral.
Those who witnessed the event expressed dismay and shock. One wondered why those employees were even working for such a company. Another said that the punishment showed no respect, and that the supervisor who did it was not being sensible.
Social media was abuzz with comments, calling for the company and others like it to be shut down. Posts were made criticizing the organizations for destroying their workers’ dignity.
According to business laws in China, companies cannot humiliate staff members. Doing so can lead to penalties, such as having to provide compensation to the workers. Nevertheless, this most recent video is not an isolated example.
There have been other stories of public employee shaming, and these have also been shared online. Last summer, a video showing forced crawling and slapping of workers also went viral.
Another one showed a female supervisor slapping six male employees repeatedly, and workers chanting while crawling in a circle like dogs. The head of this company said that the workers had picked their punishments, and the employees were being disciplined for their poor performance.
Hostile Work Environments
These stories may be extreme, but hostile work environments are a reality for many U.S. workers as well. In many situations, employees many not realize that they are being discriminated against. They may be so used to the poor treatment that they think it is standard.
There are certain signs that point to employee abuse and discrimination. An isolated incident may not qualify as harassment; the behavior must be long-term, affecting the employee’s ability to perform their job.
To be categorized as a hostile work environment in the United States, behaviors must be discriminating against race, religion, age, disability, or other classifications. Additional requirements, like a lack of response from company management, or an impediment of the employee’s career progress, may also apply.
What Employees Can Do
A worker that is behaving inappropriately should be put on notice that their actions are not acceptable. Employees faced with hostile work environments can ask offenders to stop, although this is not always easy.
Contacting a supervisor or the Human Resources Department can be helpful. Employees should record all the events that take place, including how they reported the situation.
The employer has a responsibility to investigate the claim and should take steps to stop the behavior. If they do not, it may be wise to consider legal action.
Cherry Hill Employment Discrimination Lawyers at McOmber McOmber & Luber, P.C. Fight for Employee Rights
Workplace harassment can be demeaning and traumatic, but you do not have to put up with it. Contact an experienced Cherry Hill employment discrimination lawyer at McOmber McOmber & Luber, P.C. for a free consultation today.
Call our Red Bank office at 732-842-6500, our Marlton office at 856-985-9800, our Newark office at 973-878-9040, or contact us at 888-396-0736 or online for a free consultation. We represent clients throughout New Jersey.