Law

Ways to Deal with Sexual Harassment at Workplace

Unfortunately, sexual harassment these days has become very common in the workplace. This type of harassment can be of physical or verbal type. Experiencing sexual harassment in the workplace is such a tough job, and one should learn different ways to deal with it. If you fail to deal with this harassment, you will lose your confidence, and it will be hard for you to overcome it. There are various ways one can try to deal with harassment depending on the situation they get in. This type of harassment mainly affects the work performance of the person working in the organization.

Kinds of behaviours that are considered sexual harassment at workplace - Times of India

Many believe practicing women’s equality in the workplace can keep everyone safe from harassment. Since sexual harassment is not a problem of a specific society or a circle, everyone worldwide should be able to handle it. This article will tell you what to do if you are sexually harassed at work.

Take Action on Sexual Harassment

Sexual harassment is not always about sex. Sometimes, the power compels the other person to harass you. Many people do harassment because they are in a superiority complex that makes them feel that another person is less respectable. Any person allowing anyone to humiliate them or think that he is disrespectful can be one of the major reasons for sexual harassment. The best way to deal with such people is never to tolerate their inappropriate humor or language while talking to you. You should allow anyone to call you by your nickname, as this could be the first step of sexual harassment towards you.

Steps to Be Taken by Employer

If you are a boss and don’t want sexual harassment to propagate in the workplace, you can take some steps. For example:

Keep an Eye on Every Employee’s Behaviour

Watch out for the behavior of the employee carefully. If you find that the employee is staying absent from work frequently or mood swings are seen in their behavior, it indicates something wrong at the workplace, which could also be sexual harassment.

Ask the Employees Not to Get Involved in Sexual Activities:

Also, notice if any employee is avoiding another employee. If one of your employees is avoiding another employee’s physical proximity with whom she used to work, you should ask her for a reason. Seeing anything questionable like this does not always mean a sexual harassment problem with the employee. However, as an employer, you should discuss sexual activities openly with your employees and ask them to avoid such behavior and act professionally.

Make the Implementation of Procedures Possible

The employer should be able to exercise those procedures that can help prevent sexual harassment. Some employees cannot take advantage of the organization’s preventive measures to save everyone from sexual harassment. Employers should encourage employees to step forward if they have a serious problem.

Take Every Complaint About Sexual Harassment Seriously:

If the employer gets a complaint against sexual harassment, it should be taken seriously. There should be prompt action in the form of an investigation to know about the true picture of the complaint. It should be kept in mind that there should be a proper investigation, after which action should be taken against the person involved in sexual harassment. Some people excuse another employee for harassing them when they have ended their relationship and want to express their anger. It would help if you asked for evidence from both employees to support their claims. You can also ask for witnesses.

There should be a proper ground for acting against the person harassing someone. Sometimes, what we understand is totally out of context, and we assume that sexual harassment did occur. As an employer, you should thoroughly investigate and decide what to do.

Never Disclose the Investigation Being Conducted:

Keep the investigation conducted on sexual harassment completely confidential. Opening up the issue before concluding can do a lot of damage to the reputation of people working in the organization.

Talk to Person Involved in Sexual Harassment

The first and easiest thing to do after being sexually harassed is to ask the person not to do this. You can do it in several ways. The first thing is to talk very politely with the harasser. If the harasser doesn’t listen to you and keeps the harassing continued, you can tell him you will file a report against him. Threatening the harasser is one of the best techniques. Many people stop harassing after being threatened. But if the harasser is a professional in this field, he may think you are only threatening him. Always remember that dealing with a harasser is not confined to threatening him. When you see that the harasser will not stop the harassment, you can file a report against him.

Tell Your Employer

Informing your employer or immediate supervisor is one of the best techniques to eliminate sexual harassment. A supervisor is a powerful person with the right to fire any employee who indulges in unethical or immoral activity. You can either write an email to the supervisor reporting the entire incident of harassment or ask him to meet you in person to discuss the whole issue comfortably and conveniently. The supervisor can take several actions after receiving your complaint. The measures may include firing the harasser from the job.

The experienced and knowledgeable supervisor can advise you on this matter. The HR manager can also be contacted for this purpose. He is also very professional and knows how to deal with sexual harassment.

Tell Others About the Matter

Another good thing you can do to eliminate harassment is to let everyone around you know that you are being harassed and about the culprit behind this harassment. Always remember that staying quiet can make you more vulnerable to harassment, so speaking out on the issue is advisable. It is the main purpose of the harasser to isolate the victim socially so that she cannot tell the matter to anyone. Telling others will let you know about some better ways to deal with the harassment, and you will come to know who else in the organization is facing the same problem as you. If you meet someone also being sexually harassed, ask that person to come along and write a complaint. When more than one person complains about a specific issue, the case strengthens. The supervisor or HR manager is more likely to take an interest in the matter to help you escape this difficult situation.

Don’t Doubt Yourself.

Sometimes, a person is unable to distinguish between a joke and harassment. You don’t want to question another person’s intentions and take everything he says as a joke. Anything continuously bothering you and the other person is passing such things off as a joke; it is not a joke but harassment. The mark should not be such that it attacks your dignity. No one should be allowed to make such jokes with you. Never feel that you are overreacting to little things. The harasser should be treated the way he deserves. Sometimes, the harasser creates such a situation that you start doubting yourself about what you observe is not harassment but a joke.

Keep the Record of Harassment You Face

When you file a report against someone for harassment, you will be asked to provide the details such as the name of the harasser, the place where you were harassed, the date of harassment, sources being used for harassment, and more. It becomes easier for police to investigate if you provide all the details. It is difficult to remember each date when you become a victim of someone’s sexual harassment. Name the witness if you can ask for a better disciplinary hearing.

At every workplace, such procedures and policies should be promoted to make the workplace environment free from sexual harassment. Everyone in the workplace should respect the dignity of each other. The employees in the organization should be taught how to deal with sexual harassment effectively. Moreover, they should be given proper training in dealing with a false allegation of sexual harassment.

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