Updated: Feb 17
Sexual harassment at workplace is something that can turn out to be extremely emotionally
draining and challenging situation for any individual. It is an employment discrimination and such activities are considered to be illegal in the purview of various humanitarian laws.
According to a suite of legal regulatory bodies, sexual harassment at workplace has been given the following definition –
“Unwanted or unwelcome sexual advances or conduct of a sexual nature that affects an individual’s employment, unreasonably interferes with an individual's work performance, or creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive work environment.”
Anybody at workplace could be the perpetrator of this condescending crime. So, if you ever face such a situation at workplace, you should not ignore it at all, whoever does it to you whether a co-worker, supervisor or manager, it does not matter because there are laws to protect you in such situations. It is required that you stand for what is right, against the sexual harassment situation be it verbal or physical, within the office premises or outside.
This is one of the major challenges that organisations face in modern times. According to a 2017 survey result, 33 million women fell victim to sexual harassment at their workplaces. This is a shocking revelation for the corporate culture, which also highlights the importance of surveillance in offices. Such activities can result in loss of motivation, psychological imbalance, low productivity, and attrition.
Whenever you feel such act being committed, you should immediately notify your employer. You can even file a complaint against the culprit.
Here are some tips that would help you to successfully file a sexual harassment complaint –
• Vividly try to remember and note down the date, time and location of the incident
• Jot down the name of the people who were present (if any) as witnesses
• Save a copy of all the texts, messages, emails, or videos that can be used as an evidence
• Immediately report the incident to the Human Resources department
• Make sure that your report has been recorded in company files
• Believe that there are legal authorities to help and know your rights
• Try to record audios if it is a case of verbal harassment
• Do not prolong the situation and report the incident to relevant authorities
• Seek psychological counselling if required to gain your confidence back
• Do not be afraid to involve police and personal attorneys if the matter doesn’t get resolved
You might expect your employer to seek legal assistance as well because the company can be held liable for sexual harassment in the workplace when it has not taken adequate steps to deal with the situation.