Workplace Harassment: 5 Tips for Recognizing and Reporting It

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Workplace harassment and discrimination is the unfair treatment of groups of people based on prejudicial characteristics such as sexual orientation, age, and race. 

Psychologically, humans get taught to categorize the world around them to help things make sense. Knowing people are different is one thing, but thinking that those differences influence the ability to do a job is another.

Recognizing and reporting the illegal and unfair treatment of employees is a crucial step to building a diverse and inclusive workplace, and these five tips will help do that:

Harassment Doesn’t Have to Be Loud

Workplace harassment in the movies is loud and often perpetrated by the obvious villain. Harassment and discrimination are complicated subjects. 

Identifying the issue is only half of the problem; the main thing is to know why it happens so that those behaviors and prejudices can be corrected.

More Than One Victim

Workplace harassment doesn’t only affect the victim; it can be a harrowing thing for any employee to witness. Without coaching and training for executives, the workplace will suffer.

If you or anyone you know at work is experiencing harassment or discrimination, it can be challenging to take the necessary steps. It is easy to feel alone and victimized, but you should know that resources are available to help you deal with it.

Recognize The Types

Anti-discrimination laws have been in place for over half a century. That is more than five decades of knowing what not to do, and yet, most American employees believe that they still face discrimination in one way or another.

The only way to know if discrimination and harassment exist in your workplace is to know what to look for. Identifying discrimination isn’t always black and white; there are multiple gray areas where workplace discrimination is still prevalent.

Jokes and participating in work-related harassment are clear signs that discrimination exists in your workplace, and they cannot be tolerated.

There are some glaringly obvious examples to note, including a lack of diversity, inappropriate interview questions, and demeaning communications. 

Escalation

If you are experiencing workplace harassment, don’t keep quiet. 

Your first thought may be to attempt to resolve the issue with the perpetrators, which often works, but if you try that and it gets you nowhere, don’t let that stop you from getting justice.

The next step is to report it to your direct supervisor or manager. Take note of whether they officially record your complaint, because the law states that all harassment incidents are to be escalated to the next level of management.

Most of the time, complaints of this nature are escalated to a company’s HR department for resolution.

Gather Evidence

Regardless of the type of harassment, you must get as much hard evidence as possible.

Perpetrators almost always vehemently deny allegations lodged against them; sometimes the reason for that is because they are repeat offenders, and other times it is because they are too arrogant to realize that their behavior is unacceptable.

Take photos, or ask a trusted colleague to help you, and write down times, places, and details of incidents of harassment. If possible, find witnesses or allies who may have been harassed by the same person. 

To End

Maintaining an outdated status quo is harmful to both employees and the business.

By fostering a workplace culture that values diversity and inclusivity, you can ensure that all your tomorrows are better than ever. Read more

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