Harassment, whether physical or verbal, can be a significant problem at many workplaces. However, this doesn’t mean it’s not worth addressing, and this is something that should be taken seriously. Your human resource or the higher-ups should have an official policy in place to address harassment and deal with the aftermath of these kinds of issues.
When it comes to bullying, racial slurs, sexual innuendos, abuse, and others, a prompt investigation should occur after someone has reported this incident. This is why many corporations need to undergo a DFEH harassment training program so everyone will know what to do during these instances. No one would want to experience abuse, but this is something that should not go unreported, or the offender should be given a penalty or a consequence of their actions.
Definition of Harassment
Harassment is a form of abuse that involves verbal or physical conduct, which is offensive and frightening to the target, who may feel threatened or believe that they are in danger. Harassment can take many forms: physical, verbal, written, or Internet-based.
This is intimidation that can be directed at any individual and may be repeated multiple times for one day or the course of years. Harassment may be carried out by means of a single act or by a number of actions. It can include offensive slurs, sexist remarks, unsolicited sexual favors, unwanted touching, and many more.
How to Recognize these Behaviors
Bullying or getting sexual favors are not just things that happen in an office setting, but they can also occur anywhere. And as a result, employees often don’t recognize it when they see it.
To help the companies handle these kinds of complaints, they can go ahead and get in-depth training about clear-cut policies that they should have in the workplace. With this type of training, employees can identify and prevent instances of when someone is taking advantage of them and what to do about it. However, if this method doesn’t work, employees may resort to filing lawsuits or cases against the offender or even the corporation itself.
Preventive Policies to Know About
1. Have a Zero-Tolerance and Clear-Cut Policy in Place
It’s essential to have an easy-to-understand, clear-cut, and comprehensive zero-tolerance policy in the company about these activities. These should apply to all employees with no exceptions. Make sure that in crafting this guidance, the HR personnel will get the help of legal counsel to make sure that they’re fully compliant with the federal, local, and state laws. More about the rights to get legal counsel in this link here.
2. Instituting Awareness Programs for Employees
Everyone needs to get trained and have refresher courses with harassment. The new hires should have orientations, and everyone must participate regularly. What everyone will learn in these orientations are the following:
- Unacceptable and acceptable behaviors while in the workplace
- How they can recognize sexual harassment and whether it’s taking place with their colleagues
- Steps to take to report the inappropriate behavior
Just because some comments are not going to bother you does not always mean that it’s not offending someone else who will hear it. It’s not the intent that’s important but the actions and their effect on the recipient.
3. A Specialized Training for Supervisors and Managers
Managing employees is the supervisors’ responsibility, and this should be done impeccably in the workplace. Managers must be skilled at recognizing harassment and making clear warnings about these kinds of behaviors. This can’t be tolerated, and everyone should be aware that they can be punished for a highly inappropriate behavior.
The training that’s specific for managers is highly individualized and specialized. This is where they know where to call, report the abuse to the proper authorities, file the appropriate sanctions, how to call out the behaviors and make sure that the offenders are warned the first time. It’s also worth noting that either women or men can be a victim or instigators of bullying, and this is where they should know where to step in.
4. Building a Culture where Harassment is Absent
The leaders and owners of businesses should mold and reinforce a culture where the employees and managers should act professionally at all times. This includes on-site gatherings, off site parties, and off-hour assemblies. The intimidation or demeaning of someone and calling it “humor” should never occur in the office. Read more about related posts for bullying when you click here: https://au.reachout.com/articles/5-steps-to-deal-with-workplace-bullying
Behaviors of the perpetrators that promote disrespect and making advances to anyone should never be tolerated. Those who are in charge of this should continuously ensure that they are dedicated to a bullying-free workplace. Get in touch with your HR for training about sexual harassment and know the laws surrounding it so you would know what to do when you’re faced with it. Gather evidence and witnesses if it’s necessary if this is something that has happened to you.