July 30 2021 - Everybody has the right and deserves to feel safe at work, and this means more than just following physical health and safety procedures. There is nothing worse than feeling as though you are being targeted by bullies at work or purposefully overlooked and given fewer opportunities because someone has taken a disliking to you or is discriminating against you based on your gender, race, or sexual orientation. Nor should you feel as though you are being sexually harassed in any way when you're trying to do your job.
Hopefully, you'll never have to experience any of the above, but sadly, these things can happen, and it's important to know how to deal with these situations if you ever find yourself in them. Below are a few tips on how you can tackle harassment in the workplace.
Understand Your Rights
A good place to start if you are concerned you are being harassed at work is understanding your rights as an employee. A lot of people are unaware of what comes under employment law, so researching this with regards to what constitutes harassment in the workplace is the best thing to do. It will help you feel more confident in your position if you need to take the issue to HR or get lawyers involved at some point. You should also review your employer's harassment policy to see what steps you need to take to report it properly.
Try to Resolve the Issue with the Person in Question
If you feel comfortable enough to directly engage with the person or persons that are harassing you at work, you should try to resolve the issue with them first. By communicating with them, you can express how their behavior is making you feel and perhaps discover what is making them behave this way towards you in the first place. If you don't want to speak to them directly, talk to your manager instead and ask that they speak to the other party on your behalf and act as a mediator for you.
Report the Harassment to HR
If you have tried to resolve the issue yourself or via your manager and the harassment persists or gets worse, the next step is filing an official grievance with the HR department in your place of work. They will be able to speak with your harassers and take disciplinary action. You can also speak to HR about your options and find out how else they can support you while you go through this process.
Hire a Lawyer
If things get very bad and you want to take legal action against your colleagues or employer if they are the one harassing you, you will need to hire employment attorneys to help you with your case. You can take your employer to court over their handling of your harassment complaint and get compensation for the difficulties you have had to endure.
No one should have to feel harassed or bullied in any way when they're at work, but if this is happening to you, consider the tips above and take the necessary steps to stick up for yourself and hold those harassing you accountable.