In the below video, Claire Dawson, an employment-law attorney in the U.K., offers several tips for anyone who believes they've been a victim of workplace sexual harassment. The tips focus on how to go about reporting harassment and how to get support if your mental or physical health have been affected. Although the video was produced a few years ago, it's perhaps never been more relevant than it is today. Here's some of the advice that Dawson covers:
1. Speak directly to the person harrassing you.
One of the first things you can do if you feel like you're being harrassed, according to Dawson, is to let the person who's harrassing you know that their actions are unwelcome, unwanted, and you want them to stop. Of course, it might not always be possible to speak directly with this person (say, if they're your manager). In that case, the next step could be to speak with HR.
2. Keep a paper trail.
In most cases, if you need to file a formal grievance, you'll need to have detailed information about the harassment you've been subject to. So this means you'll need to keep a record of dates, times, places, and exact details (words, gestures, etc.) and circumstances of the harassment. Also make note of other people present during the harassment, as they might be needed later to corroborate your story. In formal grievances, showing a pattern of behavior is important, which makes keeping a paper trail essential.
3. File a formal grievance with your employer.
If speaking informally to the person harassing you doesn't work to stop the harassment, then you'll likely want to file a former grievance with your employer. Before you do that, read your employer's handbook to find out about the rules and guidelines of filing such a grievance. Basically, the grievance will be a formal letter in which you'll include all the incidents of harassment you've been subject to (this is where your paper trail comes in).
4. Ask your employer to separate you from the person harassing you.
If you've been subect to extreme types of harassment that warrant you filing a criminal complaint, you might want to ask your employer to make sure you don't have to work with the person harassing you during the course of your case. You might also ask that the person harassing you be removed from the company during this time.
5. Seek support from friends, family, attorneys, and doctors.
Harassment can be extremely taxing emotionally, so you might want to ask for support from friends and family members. In order to know about your rights and to help you file grievances and claims, it can also be a good idea (or perhaps essential) to get help from employment-law attorneys. And if your physical health has been affected by the harassment, don't hesitate to see your primary care physician.
For more advice and tips, check out the video below.
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