Sexual harassment is a major threat to any society as well as the organization. There are many laws which protect the victim from adverse effects but most of these laws go unnoticed or unrecognized. There are six key things that everyone in a workplace must be aware of regarding sexual harassment.
1. What can be termed as workplace sexual harassment?
Any gesture or action that is unwanted and makes you feel uncomfortable can be termed as sexual harassment. Name calling of female co-workers with sexual remarks, unwanted hugging, kissing, offensive touching, sexually suggestive jokes or comments, unwelcome mails, messages or calls with any sexual content falls under sexual harassment.
2. Speak up for yourself
The first and the foremost thing that needs to be done is to raise a voice against your harasser when you fall as the victim. You have to first deal with your harasser and make it clear to them that you are not comfortable about their behavior. If the harassment doesn’t stop even after this, you are entitled to move your complaint to any higher level authority of the organization.
3. Whom to report?
A major share of the harassers are the immediate superiors or managers. Or, your harasser might be a close aid to the manager. Hence, you will not be very comfortable to report to them. In these cases you can consult your employee handbook to find the appropriate person to report to. Make sure that you are comfortable about the person to whom you report.
4. What must be expected and what must not be expected ?
Organizations have an usual procedure to follow when a sexual harassment case is being reported. This procedure might sometimes lead to unsatisfactory results too. Sometimes, the investigation might not have any conclusive steps. Termination of the harasser from the organization is not always the outcome. So, the victim must be in a state of accepting whatever is the outcome. But always remember, you stood up for yourself and it is always honorable.
5. Employer has the responsibility to carry out a fair investigation
The reputation of the company and the organizational morale depends on issues like this which will decide the worthiness of the organization. The employer must always have high regards for everyone of his employee and must carry out a fair trial in sexual harassment cases. The report must first be checked for authentication and if the harasser is found guilty, necessary steps must be taken for the benefit of the victims.
6. You can always contact an employment attorney
In case you are not satisfied by the procedure that was carried out in your organization, you can always contact your attorney and deal with your harasser legally. Most of the sexual harassment cases are being dealt in civil courts. A few of the extreme cases are handled in criminal courts. Make sure you stand up for your right and fight for the law.