Harassment can be classified as behavior in the workplace that is offensive, humiliating, or intimidating. It usually makes its victims fell extremely uncomfortable and even compromises their safety. Abuse of power is often the culprit. Relationships based on power could be:
Sometimes in authoritative relationships, the person being victimized is afraid to tell the person in power to stop in fear that they will continue to be singled out or even worse, fired. Administrative figures should encourage staff to be open about their feelings.
Harassment is typically a series of repeated acts. However, some behavior is considered so offensive that it may constitute harassment if only done one time.
A number of harassment cases violate state and federal anti-discrimination laws. These occur as a result of someone's:
Harassment is not always done intentionally. Acts that are perceived as innocent or humorous to one person may take on an entirely different meaning to someone else. If you're unsure whether you are going to offend someone, consider asking before you act. If you do accidentally offend someone, apologize and cease all offensive behavior immediately.
There are three forms of harassment including verbal, nonverbal, and physical. Here are some of the more common examples:
Some behaviors at the workplace seem as if they could qualify as harassment, but in some cases they don't. When there is mutual consent on the part of two adults, and the behavior is not offending any of their coworkers, it is acceptable. For example, when a supervisor conducts a performance evaluation with a subordinate, it is not viewed as harassment unless the feedback is not truthful or inappropriate behavior occurs during the assessment.
If you believe you are a victim of harassment, take these steps to resolve the problem:
If possible, harassment complaints should be dealt with locally. Employees can report harassment to:
Management is responsible for making sure the alleged harassment victim and any witness do not experience backlash in response to coming forward.
Remember that in order to have a case, you will need to have documented the events that occurred almost as if you are writing an entry in a diary. These notes should mention:
Also, hang onto any material that you feel is part of the harassment. This will help jog your memory if you choose to file a complaint.
If the harassment turns out to be factual, disciplinary action could be taken depending on the severity. Punishment could be as simple as an apology or as serious as termination.
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