ExecutiveChronicles | How to Deal with Sexual Harassment in the Workplace | If you take a look at workplace harassment statistics, you might be surprised. Sexual harassment occurs more frequently than most of us think.
Around 85% of females have experienced some form of sexual harassment in the workplace at some point in their lives. One in every seven females has left a previous job due to unwanted sexual advancements and many people feel unable to stay with an employer after they have been the victim of harassment.
Part of the problem is employers and employees being unable to recognize when sexual harassment is occurring in the workplace. Many people don’t know what contributes to harassment, so they are unsure how to resolve the issue.
Sexual harassment may involve unwanted physical contact, violation of dignity, or vulgar language. If you have experienced or are still experiencing any of these in the workplace, it’s important that you take action.
Failing to take action will only lead to the problem getting worse. Here are some important steps that you must take to overcome sexual harassment issues in the workplace.
Document Every Incident
Writing down what has happened to you is probably the last thing on your mind when you’re the victim of sexual harassment. However, documenting your experiences is vital to provide evidence for what is happening to you.
Whether it’s a manager or colleague that is making vulgar comments towards you or physically touching you in a sexual manner, you must write everything down. Keep a notepad in your work locker so that you can record the events immediately after they have happened, while they are still fresh in your mind.
Try to include as much detail as possible in your notes. Anything that you write down may be used in court if you decide to take legal action against the perpetrator.
Make sure to include the date and time of each event. You should also note down the names of any witnesses that were present at the time of each incident.
File a Complaint With Your Manager
Before you file a complaint to your manager, confront the perpetrator. They may not realize that their advancements are unwonted and simply asking them to stop what they are doing might be all it takes to end the harassment.
However, if you have asked the perpetrator to stop and the harassment continues, you must file a formal complaint with your manager. Ask to meet up with your manager on a one-to-one basis so that you can inform them of everything that has happened.
Use the evidence that you have gathered about each incident to file your complaint. Inform your manager of every form of sexual harassment that you have been experiencing, including details about when it started and what you have done to try and stop the harassment.
Just as you have been noting down each incident, write down everything that occurs in the one-to-one meeting that you have with your manager. Again, the notes that you write down may be used if you decide to take legal action.
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