Sadly, workplace harassment has become pretty standard these days. It’s not only about sexual harassment but also discrimination and other types of offensive behavior that make people feel uncomfortable and even threatened at work.
If you’re a victim of workplace harassment, it’s essential to know that you’re not alone and there are ways to fight back. You can take several steps to protect yourself and get the help you need. Here are some tips on what to do if you are harassed at work.
Dealing with a harasser
No one deserves to be harassed, no matter what. If you are being harassed, it’s important to remember that it’s not your fault and that you have a right to speak up. Here’s what you need to do:
Keep a Record of the Harassing Behavior
If you’re being harassed at work, keeping a record of the behavior is essential. This can be helpful if you decide to take legal action or file a complaint with your company. Keep a written log of each incident of harassment, including the date, time, and location. Note what happened, who was involved, and any witnesses. If possible, save any emails, text messages, or other documentation that may be relevant.
Talk to the Person Who is Harassing You
In some cases, you may feel comfortable talking to the person who is harassing you. This can effectively stop the behavior if the person is willing to listen and change their behavior. However, you should not feel like you have to talk to the person harassing you. If you don’t feel safe or comfortable doing so, you can skip this step.
Talk to a Manager or Human Resources
If you’re not comfortable talking to the person harassing you, or if the behavior doesn’t stop after you talk to them, the next step is to speak to a manager or human resources. They will be able to help you file a formal complaint and start an investigation. If the harassment is found to be occurring, they can take steps to stop it and prevent it from happening again in the future.
File a Union Grievance
If you’re a union member, you may be able to file a grievance. This is a formal complaint that will be handled by your union. Union representatives can help you investigate the claim and take appropriate action. In general, many people prefer union arbitration resolutions because they often result in more favorable outcomes for the victim. Plus, they are fast and cost-effective, which is essential when you’re already dealing with a difficult situation.
File a Lawsuit
If you’ve been the victim of workplace harassment, you may also have grounds to file a lawsuit. This is usually a last resort, but it may be necessary if the other steps haven’t worked or if the behavior is particularly severe.
An experienced attorney can help you determine if you have a case and what your options are. They can also help you navigate the legal process and fight for the compensation you deserve.
Coping with workplace harassment
Once you take action to stop the harassment, you also need to focus on taking care of yourself. Workplace harassment can be highly stressful and disruptive. Here are some tips for dealing with the aftermath:
Talk to Someone You Trust
It’s important to talk to someone about what you’re going through. Talking to someone who understands and can offer support can be helpful. This could be a friend, family member, therapist, or hotline.
Focus on Your Self-Care
It’s also important to focus on your self-care. This includes eating healthy, exercising, getting enough sleep, and taking breaks when needed. Taking care of yourself will help you cope with the stress of the situation and be better equipped to handle it.
Join a Support Group
There are also many support groups available for people who have been harassed at work. These groups can provide valuable support and resources. Joining one can help you feel less alone and give you the strength to keep going.
Help others too
Often, people who have been harassed at work feel like they’re the only ones going through it. But the truth is that harassment is more common than you may think. If you’ve been harassed at work, one of the best things you can do is help others who may be in a similar situation. This could involve speaking out about your experience, sharing resources, or being there for someone as a friend.
The bottom line
Being harassed at work is never OK. If it’s happening to you, it’s essential to know that you have options and help is available. Seek justice so that you can move on, and the person harassing you knows that their behavior is not tolerated. Help prevent it from happening to others by speaking out and sharing your experience.