Dealing With Sexual Harassment At Workplace

Dealing with sexual harassment

                Sexual harassment is a delicate matter, no matter where it happens. It should not be tolerated regardless of the environment where it occurs, whether the victim is a woman or a man. We all tend to think that women are victims of choice, but men are also targeted in these unwanted situations. When talking about sexual harassment at our working place, the situation turns to be even awfuller. When the sexual harassment happens in a particular place, like a café, you can choose to avoid the place, in order not to meet the person that harassed you. But when it is about your job, things are more complicated. The place where you used to come with pleasure and dedication, now turned into a nightmare with very narrow exits. But everybody who had the unfortunate chance of experiencing such event should be strong and stand straight, because sexual harassment is unethical, against the law, regardless of the background. Also, there are special guidelines an employer can use to prevent and report any case of sexual harassment.

                To get a clear image of this phenomenon you must know sexual harassment does not only mean unwanted physical touches, patting, pinching, kissing or sexual advances. Sexual harassment can also mean a remark or comment that has a sexual meaning. Showing in a visible place, at work, of materials that have sexual content and might be considered offending. It may be a joke, but with a sexual meaning, that is made in a continuous manner. Stalking someone with the eyesight or making certain gestures, which might be interpreted as being of a sexual nature can also represent sexual harassment. If you recognize yourself in one of those situations, and you don’t like it or feel comfortable in these situations, and this thing is repeatedly happening, it may mean you are sexually harassed.

                Unfortunately, women are the majority that have to face sexual harassment at their workplace. Most of them bear this heavy weight without telling anyone or taking any action. Perhaps fear, embarrassment, or the feeling that they are cornered with no escape keeps them in this dark circle. Out of the number of reported sexual harassments that take place at the workplace, in two-thirds the harasser is a superior. Thus, the fear of not losing a job or maybe face any penalties force women to keep the silence of what they are enduring. All women should have in their mind the idea that what is happening to them is completely illegal. They should not accept or tolerate such behavior. The law gives women a chance to be treated accordingly. Also, if you are a woman and you are experiencing such event in your workplace, whether it is your boss or a colleague, you should take measures to stop it.

Management of business have a responsibility to proactively prevent such incedents than reactively take disciplinary actions, particularly during todays age of close collaboration between people of both genders at work place to deliver a project.Indian labour laws state that any complaint from a women employee about harassment should be investigated by a women officer for a impartial probe.

Here is what you can do. Make researches about what can you do in case you are sexually harassed. Speak up your mind and ask the other person to stop his behavior, as it makes you feel uncomfortable. If you keep your mouth shut, most of them will consider it as an act of approval. So speak out when someone is bothering you. If this diplomatic approach does not work, make the preparations you need to file a report. Collect evidence, record witnesses, Gather all the information you need to create and argument, like noting the date, hour and details of the event. When you’re ready to do it, file a report in a written form, as spoken ones may disappear. Quitting your job should be the last option, so make sure you try all of these.

In the case of men that are being sexually harassed at the workplace things, are not looking that bright either. The number of men that have to face problems like this doubled over the last fifteen years. They can also have a hard time when their female superior or manager hits on them, make uncomfortable remarks or touch them physically. You might think men are not bothered by these events, but it happens in a way you don’t agree with and you find it offending, it is considered sexual harassment, regardless of gender. Perhaps the most unwanted scenarios are when men harass men. For some this might look like a typical male play, but it might have some dark under layers. If one of the men if feeling uncomfortable or awkward about these happenings, he should take the matter into his hands and find a way to stop it, just like in the case of women.

As mentioned before, sexual harassment is against the law. The US law states clear that it is “unlawful to harass a person (an applicant or employee) because of that person's sex, according to the definition given by the US EEOC. In the US employment system the harasser may be the superior of the victim, a co-worker, a supervisor, or someone from outside of the working place, like a customer. The victims may be women of men. The discrimination caused by sexual harassment is a violation towards Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. It is the principal law that protects against sexual harassment. Many American states also developed supplementary legal protection besides Title VII, so you should check the state’s law to find out what needs to be done under these conditions.

In the UK legal system, sexual harassment is also not accepted. A clear definition about how to outline a sexual harassment does not exist, but the Sex Discrimination Act 1975 gives anyone the legal right of not being sexually harassed at work. The legal system considers an unlawful behavior if one, men of women, are treated in a less favorable way because of their sex. The Employment Tribunals are the one that take and solve harassment cases filed by employees. Even if sexual harassment is forbidden by the Sex Discrimination Act, in most of UK’s instances, an accusation like this will have other forms of unwanted treatment filled as complementary. Thus, not being recruited by the employer, facing criticism at work, lack or promoting or dismissal is also considered adjacent to sexual harassment. 

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