The workplace should be a productive environment where everyone feels welcome. One individual should never make someone else feel uncomfortable, and that is why you should have a comprehensive harassment policy in place. If your business employs more than 15 people, then you are required by law to have a policy. However, even if you do not, it is still a good idea to have a protocol in place to deal with any instances that come up. You never know who may engage in deplorable behavior, and it is important to be vigilant of the various types of harassment that exist.
What Constitutes Harassment?
Harassment takes many forms, some of which are more severe than others. Telling an off-color joke could be viewed as a more mild case of harassment, while stalking is much more severe. Bullying can occur between several employees. This can take the form of physical or psychological abuse, and it can involve gossip, unwarranted criticisms and isolation. Ultimately, if someone feels uncomfortable due to the actions of someone else, then he or she should be able to go to you to deal with the problem.
What Can People Be Harassed About?
There is no limit to the things people can be bullied about. It could be something absolutely trivial about an individual’s appearance or an integral part of a person’s lifestyle. While the following list is by no means comprehensive, it does contain some of the more common targets:
Laws on harassment vary from one city to the next. They can also vary by state. Regardless of what the law is, it is not conducive to a good work environment to allow someone to feel like they are not welcome. Take every accusation of harassment seriously, and take the necessary actions so that everyone is able to work together in harmony.
Harassment can take many forms, and someone doing the harassing may not even realize that he or she is doing it. Various courses of action can be taken from simply giving the perpetrator a warning to terminating of employment. If you choose not to do anything when an employee comes to you about being harassed, then you could be facing a lawsuit. Therefore, it is in your company’s best interest to handle these matters appropriately.
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