It’s heartbreaking to say that most sexual harassment cases at work are not reported sadly because people who are harassed, especially women, who happen to be the majority, think that their cases will not be handled properly. Unfortunately, sexual misconduct and harassment are at higher rates than most of us would like to believe. Even those who were not exposed to these attempts have experienced sexist comments or verbal harassment that is still unacceptable and undermining. It is shocking to read statements of some of the people in power defending shameful acts against the real victims, and justifying explicit sexual assaults. The ugly truth is that many people who encountered unusual behavior at the workplace, do not realize that it’s considered sexual harassment in the first place. Here are 4 things you should know about sexual harassment at work.
01. Different Forms of Sexual Harassments
It is vital to understand that any physical or verbal sexual misconduct, sexual favors, sexual discrimination, and conditioned sexual demands and requests are all forms of sexual harassment according to the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. However, people, and mostly women, should understand that something as simple as physical comments up to pervasive or severe sexual behaviors are considered sexual harassment. One of its forms at work that is worth pointing to is a consistent comment on a person’s sex who’s working in a gender-dominated field.
02. Sexual Harassment Compliance
Preventive measures can contribute to prohibiting sexual harassment and discrimination at work. Having clear and rigid sexual compliance policies and effective training in workplaces must be strictly applied to reduce sexual attempts. Compliance in the interactive training courses designed by HR specialists on this site can be helpful to many organizations and companies. Verifying ways and rules to decide whether an act of sexual harassment has taken place is crucial. In some cases, victims who are unable to prove that they’re sexually harassed due to unclear policies and guidelines, are likely to resign. Unfortunately, the harasser will continue their behavioral delinquency, which puts the company at risk of hosting more victims.
03. Employers Must Exhibit Fairness
As an employer, you are required to remain unbiased and refrain from taking sides if there’s a reported case of sexual harassment. An internal investigation should be conducted while all other sides must remain impartial after a report is filed. The victim employee must ensure that all their rights are protected including continuing to be paid while investigations are still taking place. It lies on our shoulders to generate a healthy society that condemns and resents this indignant behavior. Adapting an adequate and safe work environment is everyone’s responsibility but it is also applied by the enforcement of explicit policies and regulations.
04. Documenting Sexual Harassments
Documentation is a highly important matter to help investigate your case if you experienced sexual misconduct or if you recognized that someone is. You should keep a detailed record of all attempts and incidents, where, how, and when they happened are crucial information. This type of information is actually not needed to file a complaint but it certainly helps whoever is investigating the case. Unfortunately, a harasser might get away with their deeds but at some point, when faced with documented incidents, it can set them up and put them in a corner where it’s hard to deny. Experiencing sexual harassment is mentally and physically distressing, some people may need psychological help or someone to talk to after the incident, this is all considered important information. Emails, messages, and posts that convey any indication of an incident should also be included in the documentation.
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Sexual harassment comes in different forms that most people fail to recognize, even as simple as verbal comments. In order to ensure a healthy workplace environment, organizations and companies should adopt clear policies that condemn sexual misconduct and inappropriate behavior. We’ve heard many shameful stories and statements of people in power that justify the acts of the harasser. Sadly, most people, especially women who were subject to sexual harassment and assaults do not report their cases, thinking that no one will support or believe what they say. In some cases, the victim is forced to resign after reporting sexual misconduct due to the mishandling of their case. If anyone encounters sexual harassment at work, they should document incidents clearly, evidence that proves being subjected to this behavior might help the investigator to complete their job and see the truth. Reporting contexts of emails or messages with the harasser or even one of the witnesses will make things clearer and easier to prove if you decided to file a complaint.