How to Handle Workplace Harassment
It is a sad and unfortunate fact that bullying does not cease once you graduate from school. In fact, workplace bullying, harassment and abuse is commonplace in companies around the world.
Knowing how to properly handle harassment in the workplace is important in ensuring that it’s resolved effectively.
5 Steps to Handle Workplace Harassment
1. Using a diary or a notepad, record any instances of harassment in the workplace, including details such as the date the abuse occurred and a detailed account of what happened.
Make sure that you list all witnesses to the event, as they can testify and confirm your claims once your manager has been made aware. Workplace harassment is defined as ridicule, physical abuse or intimidation.
2. Talk to the person who is harassing you.
Make sure that he understands that you have been upset or offended by his actions and words.
It may be that he believed he was simply indulging in banter, or making a joke, and never meant to offend anyone. Once he realizes the implications of his actions, he should apologize to you and anyone else who was offended.
3. Speak to your colleagues who have seen any events of harassment, if talking to the abuser does not resolve matters.
Ask them if they would be willing to testify your case to higher management if you make a formal complaint.
4. Research your company’s policies and procedures for reporting abuse in the workplace.
Some larger companies have telephone hot lines, where the caller can report instances of harassment yet remain anonymous. Otherwise, the company policy may simply direct you to report this matter to human resources department.
5. If your employer is reluctant or unwilling to help you, report the harassment to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).
Depending on your state, you have a period of 180 to 300 days from the incident in which to report it. The EEOC will then investigate your claim while making sure that you remain anonymous.
Make sure that what you are experiencing is definitely harassment before you make a complaint.
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