How to Deal With Harassment in the Office

Workplace harassment is rampant in every company. Although some might not be reported, it still exists. It can come from your colleague, manager, or even a customer or a client. It can happen physically, verbally, emotionally or even worse — sexually. It doesn’t matter if the person doing it thinks it’s not harassment, it is still harassment if the action is not wanted or offensive. If you experience any of this kind and don’t know what to do, here’s how to deal with harassment in the office.

Report It

First, check your company’s employee handbook and the procedures on how they handle this type of situation. You should report any instance of harassment immediately, filing an internal complaint will make the employer or company informed about the situation. You can talk to your supervisor, human resources manager, or if you have a union or designated person to deal with harassment in the office.

Companies usually have a policy and procedures for employees to do when filing a complaint and reporting harassment, make sure you understand and read it properly and follow it closely. When you filed the report verbally or written, make sure that there will be a written summary or copy of the complaint and should be acknowledged by both parties. Follow up for any updates and actions done by the company and take note if you decide to push through with a legal complaint.

Get Legal Help

If no actions have been done by your human resource, manager or the company, you can now push through with legal action. DuPage law firm suggests that a lawyer can help you decide on what to do next if the company fails to help you with workplace harassment, not only that they will figure out the best course of action but they will also protect your rights.

While the human resource department can help you, their best interest is still in the company. However, lawyers know the sensitive nature of workplace harassment. This is why it is best to get legal help if the issue is neglected by the parties involved.

Consider filing with the EEOC

If you don’t trust your organization’s actions regarding the issue, you can further ensure your safety by filling a case with the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, or EEOC. Filing with EEOC is statutory before you can sue your company, if it’s needed. Some of the companies may have an EEOC officer for you to talk to about your legal rights or for you to decide whether to file a complaint or not. Although you have to take note that there will be a time limit usually 180 days from the discriminatory act.

Harassment and the trauma it causes is a very difficult situation to get through. Once you or any of your colleagues undergo the abuse you should seek or give solid support to help any victims of it. Reporting might be a hard move for you, but it will raise awareness and will make you feel that you are not alone in this battle. In addition, if someone else is being harassed too, let them know that you will support and encourage them to take further actions and steps. Standing up to workplace harassment will stop this agonizing issue and will empower victims of it.

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