Harassment at work is a serious issue and people – both employers and employees – should learn more about it. Victims must educate themselves in order to take action and stop negative episodes. What is harassment at work (or any other location related to work)? It’s any example of bullying, ridiculing, yelling, insulting and any undesired behaviour towards a specific person. You can and have to protect your rights: follow a few steps if you are facing work harassment and make it stop. If it doesn’t, this process will help you proving your case when you use your right to sue. It’s important to know how to handle it and what to do if you lose your job because of verbal or physical harassment in the workplace or because you tried to stop it.
Here you can find what to do:
- Confront the offender. I know, it’s the last thing you want to do. However, it’s very useful and effective, because it’s a practical way to stand up for yourself and make the harassment at work stop. If you choose to sue the offender later on, this step will help you showing that you didn’t want it nor like it. On the one hand, you can solve the problem with one step; on the other one, you are protecting yourself and making a clear statement. You can also write a letter to the abuser and keep a copy for yourself. As for sexual harassment, it is common that the offender says that the victim didn’t mind or feel offended or in danger. Don’t let that happen – now you know how.
- Make an official complaint to your company. If step one doesn’t work, take further action and find out more about your company’s policies in these situations. You can contact your HR department and ask to file a harassment complaint. Remember to follow the instructions you will be given and keep a copy for yourself. This way, you’ll let the company know there’s something going on and people in charge will have a chance to look into it. If they don’t or you decide to take the offender to court, you can consider the company liable (also in the case you get fired because the harassment is done by a manager). If the company doesn’t remedy, you can firmly ask for punitive damages.
- Start a lawsuit and take them to the tribunal. You are going to need expert advice and support before you choose to take action and sue the offender. Reach out for a good lawyer and understand perfectly all consequences of your choice. You will burn bridges.
If you want to quit your job anyway, remember to always be professional. A different behaviour will affect your case regarding harassment at work.