Harassment is uncomfortable, no matter where you are. However, being harassed at work can be even worse since it’s a place you should feel safe.
Unfortunately, harassment in the workplace is all too common, and rarely does it get taken to management, Many people don’t realize or admit that they’re victims of harassment, and in turn, tolerate it.
Any time someone makes a joke or badgers you about anything from your sex, religion, or color of your skin, it’s an illegal form of discrimination.
Harassment can come in many forms, which is why it can be a grey area. People may attempt to harass others in subtle ways that may slip under the radar. However, the fact is that if someone is making you feel uncomfortable in your place of work based on who you are as a person, then you’re a victim of harassment. So, the question remains, how do you react to unlawful workplace harassment?
Take a look at these tips for dealing with it effectively.
Refer To Your Employee Handbook
The first thing that you should do is refer to your company’s guidelines. Your employee handbook will clearly outline their policies regarding employee conduct and expectations. Your company should list what you should do and how to file a formal complaint. If your handbook doesn’t provide any information about where to turn with your complaint, then you should call U.S. Equal Opportunity Commission. Someone will be able to explain your legal rights and what to do next.
Report The Incident
It’s vital that you report the incident as soon as possible to your employer. Without being formally notified of the incident, they are not guaranteed to take legal responsibility. Make sure that you follow all of the standard procedures that are required of you.
Make sure that you keep a copy of whatever you submit. If you make your complaint verbally, you should always make sure that you follow up on your complaint with a written summary.
Record What Happened
As soon as it happens, make sure that you write down or make an audio recording explaining exactly what happened and when. The more time that you let pass, the less likely the details will stay in your mind.
Keeping a copy of the specifics like what each person said, and where it occurred will help you fight your case.
Find Support With Co-workers
Chances are that you’re not the only employee who has experienced harassment. If you find that there are others who have also had incidents of their own, then ask them to come together with you. Make sure that they also write down what happened and report the event as well.