Workplace harassment is more than what you hear on the news. Only when it involves a celebrity does it make the headlines. But, it is a real problem that a lot of people face. Harassment is an unlawful form of aggravated indecent assault, a form of discrimination based on sex, religion, and race.
While the exact definition varies from country to country, it is more or less the same globally. It may include racial slurs, inappropriate jokes, aggravated indecent assault, intimidation, blackmail, offensive pictures, and much more that could be deemed harassment. It is noted that most of the harassment at the workplace is never officially reported. Due to the risk of losing the job, or the society, most people do not generally file an official complaint with the correct department.
There is a social stigma around harassment that stops the victim from taking any action. However, with specific movements around the world that empower such victims, more and more people are gaining the courage to step forward.
Here are some tips on how you can deal with workplace assault
1. Use the available resources
If you are unaware of the company policy regarding assault, then going through the employee handbook is a good option. Wherein, you will understand whom to contact and complain to when such a situation arises. Moreover, there are government organisations to help you with such things as well.
Any incident of harassment must be reported instantly. It is essential for you to report the incident to your manager or any of the superiors. Otherwise, the company is not legally involved. As long as the company is in the dark about the incident, they are not legally responsible. Ensure that you go through the company’s policy regarding harassment and follow the set process of reporting it.
3. Keep Records
When such an incident happens, it is best to keep written records of what exactly happened. It is advisable to mention everything in the records, the place, time, purpose, and witnesses. Moreover, even after you file a complaint, keeping a written record of all the conversations is essential. You must have a written record of the report you filed and all the subsequent replies.
4. Get Witnesses
If possible, then talk to coworkers who may have witnessed the incident. In the process, you might find people who have witnessed your harassment or have gone through the same. If you get to know that others are also being harassed, you can also ask your coworkers to file a complaint. This will help to strengthen your case against the accused.
5. File with the Authorities
If you think that your organisation’s process of dealing with the complaint is unfair, you can take up your case to various government authorities. The type of authorities varies from country to country, but research about the concerned authorities and file the case if you mistrust your organisation.
Harassment, aggravated indecent assaults, and sexual assaults can victimise a person for life. So, if you or any of your coworkers face harassment at the workplace, it is advisable to file a complaint and take action against the offender.
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