Harassment can be illegal, according to FindLaw. There are two types of harassment: civil harassment and criminal harassment. Criminal harassment typically involves intentionally targeting someone with behavior that is meant to alarm or torment them. Civil harassment is a form of employment discrimination involving conduct that creates an abusive or hostile work environment due to race, color, age or other protect classes, according to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
Civil harassment violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967, and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. For ill treatment in the workplace to rise to the level of harassment, it must be a condition of continued employment, or it must be severe or pervasive enough to create an intimidating or hostile work environment, according to the EEOC.
According to FindLaw, state and federal governments can differ in the way in which they prosecute criminal harassment. The method of harassment is usually taken into account and can include stalking, cyberstalking, and menacing. In the United States, any interstate stalking is illegal. Laws about stalking and cyberstalking, vary from state to state. Some states also have heightened punishments if the stalking targeted a victim based on his race, color, national origin, ancestry, gender, religion, religious practice, age, disability or sexual orientation.