No one should face workplace harassment due to their religion, race or other protected characteristic. Still, it remains an unfortunate reality for many employees.
If you are the target of unwelcome, offensive behavior from a co-worker, informing your employer can feel daunting. Remember that you have rights, and your boss must provide a safe and respectful work environment.
Here are some tips to help you manage the ins and outs of reporting coworker harassment.
Know your rights
The California Fair Employment and Housing Act prohibits workplace harassment by co-workers and employers. Federal anti-discrimination and harassment laws provide additional protections. Delve into the protections the law provides to ensure that you are well-informed.
Keep careful records
Maintain a detailed record of the harassment, including dates, times, locations and specific actions or language. Screenshots of online messages or texts can pad your record with strong evidence.
Your company should have procedures for reporting workplace mistreatment. Follow them to the letter. It will help your case if the harassment continues, leaving you with no options other than to seek a legal remedy.
When reporting, be clear and factual and plainly state your expectations (disciplinary action, reassignment, etc.). Stick to the specifics and avoid emotional language. Present documented evidence and witness statements, if available.
Build a supportive team
Seek support wherever you can find it. Your friends and family can bolster your courage when approaching such an uncomfortable discussion. If you’re not able to resolve the issue with your employer, getting experienced legal guidance can help you protect your rights and explore your options.
Remember: You are not alone. Many resources are available to help you navigate this challenging situation. Speaking up about harassment takes courage, but it is crucial to creating a safe and respectful workplace for everyone.