The office place is a microcosm of the real world. Anything that can happen in the real world, can happen in the office. All kinds of rights violations happen every day in the office.
Instances of sexual harassment, workplace bullying, and even assault are well-documented. Sometimes negative workplace instances are the result of a well-intended prank, other times workers can find themselves the intended target of a workplace campaign.
Document Questionable Workplace Events
There are all kinds of reasons why you might feel uncomfortable in the workplace. It could be that you’re the target of peer bullying or are dealing with sexual harassment. You might have even crossed management with your workroom talk of unionization. Regardless, you need to watch your back.
One of the best things you do to protect yourself in the workplace is to document important events. This documentation can later be used to set up a timeline of events and paint a picture of the difficulties you endured.
This early-stage technique is great because it is passive. No one has to know that you are doing it. You might find yourself recording a weird interaction only to realize later that it was the first attack in a series of workplace encounters.
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It isn’t advisable to go around filming everything, it might even get you in trouble if you live in a 2-party recording law state. Recording sound or video might even be specifically against worker policy and could be grounds for automatic dismissal.
So keep it to pen and pencil, or bits and bytes. Using your documentation to bully other workers may itself be deemed as harassment. Be moderate and don’t go overboard. You can find more about this from the workplace discrimination attorneys Nashville residents rely on for this kind of advice. Proper documentation can be a powerful tool, but keep the specifics a secret to everyone but your lawyer. That’s because specific dates and information can blow holes in their story so big that even a team of lawyers would run in fear.
Human Resources Can’t Be Trusted
HR is painted as a department for your health and well-being. The employees there are often very welcoming and polite. They may offer to listen to your problems and appear on your side. But you should understand that your HR team is a group of spies. Don’t be fooled, their existence is solely for the benefit of the company.
They will tell you that you can confide in them about anything that happens at work. And the moment you walk out of their office after telling them about how uncomfortable your team leader made you feel by propositioning you, they’ll immediately pick up the phone and tell management.
If you are seen as more expendable than your harasser, they’ll go into damage control. Damage control entails a lot of manipulative strategies to ruin you. Sometimes it comes in the form of bullying. Sometimes they’ll pressure you to sign paperwork absolving them with guilt. It’s never good for you and they’ll slander your reputation as a worker to save a dollar.
There are countless stories about workers becoming the target of their corporation’s ire for nothing more than speaking up about your harasser. However, depending on the company and the situation, it’s not always that bad. Regardless, you can’t depend on HR. That’s why recording strange events is a way that you can actively protect your rights.
Stand Up For Yourself And Build Your Team
In general, workers need to stand up for themselves more. It’s a job market, and that market works both ways. Don’t put up with negative bosses, coworkers, and working conditions. Take your passion and skill to the highest bidder. And if someone else comes along with a better deal, take it! That’s how market dynamics work.
Strength in numbers is the best way to protect yourself. If you have a good social group at work, you’ll be insulated from a lot of the corporate bullies and creeps. Work with your team and be loyal to them. Stand up for them when they need your support, and tolerate their failings. They’re only human. If everyone supports and accepts each other this way, workers will stand to benefit greatly.