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Understanding Workplace Harassment in the Office

Harassment at work is a sensitive issue, and one that not everyone is comfortable talking about, but it should, in fact, in fact, be discussed, whether one is in their so called “comfort zone” in such a conversation or not. If you run an office or other work environment, there are some challenges you will face, because you WILL have to discuss harassment with your workers.

Defining Harassment

Harassment does not mean sexual harassment. A victim of harassment can be a minority employee whose co-workers accuse him or her of being the “token” minority. They could be a homosexual who is bullied or teased by their co-workers. Harassment victims are not always female. ¬†Sexual harassment is amongst the most common issues reported today. Therefore employers are required to conduct sexual harassment training at the workplace.

Harassment could include cruel practical jokes; it can even be parking in someone else’s spot for the sole purpose of annoying them. The definition is, in fact, quite broad. What it boils down to, though, is this: A person or group of people being annoyed, harassed, bullied, attacked verbally or physically, ostracized or otherwise made to feel uncomfortable for any reason.

Responding to Harassment

The response to abuse must always be handled responsibly. The wrong way to deal with the perpetrators is to take revenge, to create and promote further conflict in the workplace.

The correct way to handle this is to speak to a superior, or, should the superior be the perpetrator, to talk to a higher up. The entire company needs to be trained in how to respond to harassment as employees do not have to feel alone in their struggle against the perpetrator.