How to Deal With Workplace Harassment
All employees in the US have the right to a hostile-free workplace, meaning, no one should endure any harassment from their bosses, supervisors, colleagues or employer. However, if an individual is subject to harassment to a point where they can no longer perform their duties, then their place of work can be termed as a hostile work environment.
If you are facing any harassment at your workplace, you can file a harassment lawsuit against the perpetrator. The law protects you from any form of harassment, whether it’s sexual, alienation/isolation, derogatory comments, sabotage, etc. in the workplace. It’s therefore within your rights to bring anyone who violates this law to books. If you are unsure about whether your rights been infringed, or have no idea how to go about the process, you can talk to a New Jersey employment lawyer Ravi Sattiraju, who will help assess the case and guide you regarding the best course of legal action that you can take.
The United States Equal Employment Commission lists these examples of workplace harassment:
- Put-downs or insults
- Offensive name-calling, epithets, slurs or jokes
- Offensive pictures or objects
- Mockery, ridicule or ridicule
- Disrupting work performance
- Threats or physical assaults
The commission also states that the victim isn’t necessarily the harassed person, but any individual who is affected by the act can be termed as the victim. Additionally, the victim doesn’t have to sustain economic damages for the offense to be termed as harassment.
Dealing with workplace harassment
If you are facing workplace harassment, you have to react immediately per the company’s policy as well as the law. Supervisors and managers should be knowledgeable on how to handle harassment issues. According to the guidelines provided by the American Bar Association:
- Supervisors and managers shouldn’t look into harassment complaints unless they are assigned to do so. Otherwise, the issue should be reported to the relevant people at the company, including the personnel manager, human resource management and so on.
- If it’s a sexual harassment case, then the principal investigator of the issue should be of a similar gender as the victim to ensure objectivity is upheld
- Once the harassment issue is filed, the investigator should ask the victim to narrate the uncovering of the event, as well as other relevant information relating to the case, including the date and time of the incidence, employees involved, location, witnesses and any additional information.
- The designated investigator should maintain relevancy and not derail to issues that do not contribute to the case. The American Bar Association requires the investigator to document verified factual details while avoiding conclusions, mental impressions or speculations.
As a victim, you should consider whether you can take on the case alone or need an attorney to help you and guide you through the steps.
Consequences of workplace harassment
According to the Equal Employment Commission, the employer is automatically responsible for harassment by a supervisor that leads to negative ramifications like loss of wages, termination, and failure to hire or promote. But if the leader’s harassment causes a hostile work environment, then the employer can avoid responsibility if they prove that the company did everything to prevent and quickly rectify the harassing behavior.