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When considering workplace harassment, many people envision explicit scenes from movies that clearly depict abusive behavior. However, the reality is often more subtle, making it no less a crime.
Harassment in the workplace isn’t always easy to identify. It encompasses physical or verbal abuse or mistreatment that targets individuals based on attributes like gender, sex, religion, age, or race. Such conduct is not just inappropriate; it’s an offense that must be eradicated from workplaces worldwide.
Recognizing the magnitude of the issue, it’s essential to begin by addressing harassment within your own work environment. The lines between acceptable and unacceptable behavior can sometimes blur, making it challenging to navigate the situation. To help you combat workplace harassment effectively, here are five essential tips:
1. Tell Someone
Nearly 90% of workplace harassment goes unreported, at least through official channels.
Harassment can manifest in various forms, including name-calling, threats, intimidation, ridicule, and offensive behavior. Any conduct that is unwelcome, unsolicited, or discriminatory should be reported.
Unreported harassment at your dream job won’t simply disappear; in fact, it often escalates over time. If possible, report the harassment promptly. Doing so not only makes your employer aware of the issue but also holds them accountable for taking action to stop it.
Inform a member of management, your supervisor, or your human resources representative about the harassment. Consult your workplace’s employee policy, as it will outline the specific procedures you are required to follow.Empower yourself at work! Learn the top 5 tips to tackle workplace harassment head-on. Stand up for your rights and create a safer, more respectful workplace. #WorkplaceHarassment #EmployeeTipsClick To Tweet
2. Sexual Harassment Is a Slippery Slope
Sexual harassment is seldom overt. It may not be dramatic, and it might not even be immediately noticeable.
Often, it manifests through subtle actions that serve no purpose other than to make you uncomfortable. These behaviors create a slippery slope, where the perpetrator might not even be aware that they are crossing boundaries.
Work environments must be safe spaces for all employees. Therefore, it’s important not to dismiss seemingly minor actions; they can often escalate into more severe forms of harassment. If someone is making you uncomfortable at work, don’t hesitate to speak up.
3. Join A Union
Joining a union will give you power. It’s not a magic trick, it’s a legally protected status.
Unionized workers enjoy better pension benefits, harassment protection, and seniority rights within the workplace. If your workplace doesn’t have one currently, research how to start a union in Alberta – you’ll be amazed at what you’ll learn.
4. Document It
Where possible, get evidence.
That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t say anything if you don’t have proof, but it makes dealing with the situation that much quicker. Take screenshots, write things down, and get witnesses if you can.
Keeping a detailed journal of what happened, when, where, and with you will help your employer and, ultimately, you.
5. Don’t Let Your Emotions Get the Better of You
As hard as it is, don’t let your emotions get the better of you.
Don’t rise to the occasion, and don’t wallow in self-pity. Take action. Harassment is a serious offense – but take the right action to remedy the situation. That will help resolve the situation, and you’ll feel more empowered taking the high road.
Workplace harassment can be a living hell, but it doesn’t have to be. There is light at the end of the tunnel; you just need to show some courage and get the ball rolling. Justice will always prevail.
This book raises awareness on incidents of harassment and gives tips on handling this illicit conduct in the workplace.