Assault and Harassment are two experiences that leave a person troubled and tormented. The damage is so severe that they often go beyond the physical aspect. Mental trauma is the most difficult to overcome. Despite the similarity, the two are not the same. There is a striking difference between physical harassment and physical assault. It's critical to comprehend the similarities between the two and when Physical Harassment becomes Physical Assault. If one has been the victim of workplace Physical Harassment or Assault, seeking a legal route is critical to end the misery for self and prevent anyone else from facing the same fate.

Physical Harassment 

It's challenging enough to manage the job's duties. Physical Harassment and discrimination from coworkers or bosses are the last things any employee should have to deal with. 

At any given point, there are various types of Physical Harassment and discrimination. In general, an activity that impacts an employee's employment interferes with their performance or produces a hostile, intimidating, or offensive office environment is considered Physical Harassment.

Touching an employee's clothing, hair, face, or skin, for example, or making aggressive gestures toward the employee are examples. Other people may be named as defendants in harassment claims besides the employer. They could also be a representative of the employer, a firm boss, a coworker, or a non-employee.

 Physical Harassment of a sexual nature is one of the most common sorts of Harassment that employees face. This usually refers to instances where an employer makes unwanted sexual overtures toward an employee or asks for sexual favors. For example, if an employer makes inappropriate physical contact with an employee or places the employee in a threatening physical environment, such as trapping the employee in a doorway or corner, the employer has likely engaged in Physical Harassment. Physical Harassment of a sexual character can occur over a series of incidents rather than being limited to cases involving extreme misconduct.

 Physical Harassment could also be accompanied by racial Harassment. It refers to any undesirable behavior directed at a person as a result of their race. Jokes, stereotyping, racial epithets, and disparaging names are all examples of this type of Harassment and discrimination. When these activities create an intimidating workplace, an employee can sue their employer.

Physical Assault  

Physical Assault occurs when a person or a group entices and strikes a victim physically, using or instead of the use of a weapon, or warns to harm that person. The use of force or threats against a non-consenting victim on the job or in the context of the victim's work constitutes work-related aggression. 

Physical assault can also include domestic violence, which involves physical injury in familial interactions. Anyone, regardless of gender, age, or other characteristics, can be physically assaulted. It is, nevertheless, a hate crime if the Assault was motivated by hatred toward a person or group because of a protected feature. Physical Assault s can be seen in the following examples.

  • Insults and death threats are examples of provocation.
  • Making a fist, pushing, stalking, and stealing/throwing objects are all examples of intimidation.
  • Brutality includes assaults, struggles, and battles.
  • Bites, bruising, injuries, dislocations, and fractures are all common injuries from punches.
  • Assault with a weapon is a type of Assault.
  • Robbery with a weapon (with a firearm or using force or the threat of force).

Difference between Physical Harassment and Physical Assault

Physical Harassment is something that most often occurs at workplaces but is not limited to it. Physical Assault is not restricted to any place or gender whatsoever.

The critical difference between physical harassment and physical assault is that Harassment may or may not be targeted directly at the person. Another difference is that Physical Harassment may imply a reward or prize as a result of submitting to the Harassment or participating in one. Physical Assault does not involve any such repercussions.

Laws for Physical Harassment and Assault

Despite the difference between Physical Harassment and Physical Assault, the two are counted under legal offense. 

Laws for Physical Harassment 

The first step to dealing with Physical Harassment is to make a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission(EEOC). The agency will decide how to handle the claims once a person registers a complaint. It's important to remember that because these claims are filed under Act VII, the complainant can only sue the employer, not the harasser. A firm can be held liable under this Act if it allows one of its employees to be harassed.

The EEOC will send the complainant a right-to-sue letter after investigating the allegation, allowing the complainant to take the concerning matter to federal court. The investigation, on the other hand, can be lengthy and complex.

The Civil Rights Act of 1964's Title VII is utilized to combat Physical Harassment. Title VII prohibits employers from

  • Declining or refusing to hire or discharge any individual, or otherwise discriminating against any individual concerning [her or] his compensation, terms, conditions, or privileges of employment, based on an individual's ethnicity, color, religion, sex, or national origin; or 
  • Unduly restricting, separating, or classifying his personnel. Any individual of work chances or otherwise jeopardizes his employment status.

Laws for Physical Assault

Based upon the extent and nature of the violence, the Criminal Code classifies three types of Assaults. They are:

  • Simple Assault
  • Assault involving a weapon and/or causing harm to the body
  • Aggravated Assault

Depending upon the type of offense (an indictable offense or an offense punishable on summary conviction), the Criminal Code imposes varied penalties for each, ranging from a simple total fine of $2,000 to a maximum sentence of fourteen years in jail. Slapping, hitting, kicking, and spitting are all actions that could result in assault and battery charges. The severity of the punishment for Assault and battery is determined by the circumstances surrounding the incident and the intended victim. Usually, a person can proceed with legally filing for personal injuries under Physical Assault as well.


Physical harassment and assaults are traumatizing experiences for anyone to go through. However, the right actions need to be taken to get out of the physical and mental trauma.