If gossip is harmful, ask your manager or a member of your human resources team to talk to the person. If the employee purposely shares false information, it could be considered harassment, discrimination, retaliation, slander, or defamation. In the workplace, bullying and gossip may not be as clearly identifiable as you might think. In most cases, workplace harassment can be defined as harassing, criticizing, or intimidating an employee or co-worker without a clear and justifiable reason for doing so.
Gossip is just as damaging to intimidation, although it usually takes place indirectly or “behind the victim's back”. Employee gossip about other employees can constitute harassment and intimidation, creating a toxic work environment. Just like rumors and face-to-face gossip are considered harassment, so is it on the Internet, even on social media. Even if this is done outside the workplace, it's still considered workplace harassment.
It is very important to check the candidate's history with previous employers and review databases for information about the person to ensure that they don't hire someone who could cause problems in the workplace. However, it is likely to be considered workplace harassment or gossip if it meets any of the following criteria. If a co-worker damaged your property to intimidate or antagonize you, this would be considered physical harassment. In short, harassment can make working life very uncomfortable for some people, and many may even enjoy their work as it is, but they hate going to work because of the persistence of harassment in the workplace.
Even if a person who spreads gossip has no ill intentions, the author can do so, especially if the information is not true or is intended to damage a person's reputation or career path. Workplace gossip can be included in this definition, meaning that the employer is legally required to take steps to protect workers from it. Physical harassment, which is also called “workplace violence”, refers to a type of harassment in the workplace that includes physical attacks or threats. First, the policy must explicitly state that it is not intended to limit the right of employees to talk about wages, hours or working conditions; rather, it aims to gossip about topics not related to work, Hyman said.
Discrimination is taken very seriously and discrimination in the workplace is considered an illegal action. Even if a gossip-free employment policy is not zero-tolerance, a formal statement against workplace gossip can help reduce the chances of employees engaging in it and, if they do, they can expect the employer to take action. TLK Healthcare, a healthcare hiring company based in Austin, Texas, includes employees who gossip with the boss with no intention of offering a solution or talking to co-workers about a problem. Gossip can also demoralize individuals, who may find it increasingly difficult to concentrate on their work.
Not all criticism is considered harassment, especially if it is due to a direct reason, such as poor job performance.