Unfortunately, sexual harassment these days has become very common at the workplace. This type of harassment can be of a physical or verbal type. As a matter of fact, experiencing sexual harassment at 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 definitely lose your confidence, and it will also be hard for you to get over it. There are various ways one can try to deal with the harassment depending on the situation he or she gets in. This type of harassment mainly affects the work performance of the person working in the organization.
Many people believe that practicing women’s equality in the workplace can keep everyone safe from harassment. Since sexual harassment is not the problem of a specific society or a circle, everyone across the world should be able to deal with it. This article will let you know what to do if you are sexually harassed at work.
Take Action on Sexual Harassment
Sexual harassment is not always about sex. Sometimes, it is the power that 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 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 his/her behavior, it is a clear indication that there is 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 the 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 preventive measures taken by the organization to save everyone from sexual harassment. The employer should take some steps and encourage the employee to step forward if they are feeling a serious problem.
Take Every Complaint About Sexual Harassment Serious:
If the employer gets a complaint against sexual harassment, it should be taken seriously. There should be prompt action in the form of investigation for knowing 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 when they have ended their relationship and wanted to express their anger. You should ask for evidence from both employees that can support their claim on the issue. You can also ask for witnesses.
There should be a proper ground for taking action against the person harassing someone. Sometimes, what we understand is totally out of context, and we assume that sexual harassment did occur. You, as an employer, should conduct a thorough investigation and then decide what to do.
Never Disclose the Investigation Being Conducted:
Keep the investigation conducted on the 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 keep the harassing continued, you can tell him that 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 person in this field, he may think you are only threatening him. Always keep that in mind that dealing with a harasser is not only confined to threatening him. When you see that the harasser will not stop the harassment, you can go and file a report against him.
Tell Your Employer
Informing your employer or immediate supervisor is one of the best techniques to be adopted to get rid of sexual harassment. A supervisor is a powerful person who has a right to fire any employee indulged in any unethical or immoral activity. You can either write an email to the supervisor reporting the entire incident of harassment or asking him to meet you in person so that you can discuss the entire issue with comfort and convenience. The supervisor can take several actions after receiving your complaint. The actions may include firing the harasser from the job.
The supervisor is an experienced and knowledgeable person who can give you the best advice regarding this matter. The HR manager can also be contacted for this purpose. He is also a very experienced person who knows well how to deal with sexual harassment.
Tell Others About the Matter
Another good thing that you can do to get rid of harassment is to let everyone around you at the workplace know that you are being harassed and about the culprit behind this harassment. Always keep that in mind that staying quiet can make you more vulnerable to harassment, so it is advisable to speak out on the issue. 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 who is 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 becomes stronger. The supervisor or HR manager is more likely to take an interest in the matter to help you get out of 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 you take everything he says as a joke. Anything that is continuously bothering you and the other person is passing such things off as a joke; it is not a joke but harassment. The joke 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, place where you were harassed, date of harassment, sources being used for harassment, and a lot more. It becomes easier for police to investigate if you provide all the details. It is not easy 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 environment at the workplace completely free from sexual harassment. Everyone at 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 also be given proper training about dealing with a false allegation of sexual harassment.