Sexual Harassment

Sexual Harassment

7 Steps To Take If You Are Subjected to Sexual Harassment At Work

All Unwanted Sexual Touching Is More Than Harassment – It Is Sexual Assault

Sexual Harassment – today we are tackling a difficult and challenging subject.

It is important to understand that if someone touches you sexually at work, even over your clothing, it is not just sexual harassment or bullying  – it is also sexual assault and should be taken seriously.

But should you let  “harmless”  crude remarks and sexual innuendos go? No! If something is making you feel uncomfortable you should stop it right then and there before it escalates.

Here are steps to help you protect yourself and your civil rights if you have been or are being sexually harassed at work.

1. Confront The Harasser

Confront the person sexually harassing you. Look them in the eye and tell them what they did was inappropriate. Be specific and blunt – do not worry about being rude – you have a right to be.

2. Tell Them To Stop!

The first time someone does something you object to tell them “stop!”  Say it loud enough for others to hear for extra emphasis.  Never apologize or make excuses for the offender.

3. Document It Or Report It Immediately

Sexual harassment is wrong, illegal and deserves to be addressed.  But if you feel in your best judgment you have handled things in steps one and two above at least document the date, time, place, what happened, your action, and the harasser’s response.  If it ever happens again to you, or to someone else at work, you will have a history to refer to.

You can read the rest of these steps at this link.

Your rights to work in an environment free from sexual harassment are protected by  law in the US and the UK and in many other countries.  Your union or a lawyer will able to advise you if you have a case and what legal steps to take to sue your harasser or employer in civil court.

If you are physically injured by an attacker, you should call the police immediately, and then contact an attorney as soon as possible to document evidence you may need later to prove your case.

Many victims blame themselves in some way, or others may say a victim was “asking for it.”  But victims are not to blame – no one asks to be the subject of a sexual assault.

Please note! There is nothing clever about sexual horseplay in the office, even when the two main players are equal in power and believe they are consenting.  It is embarrassing and unpleasant for others.  And it may create a climate in which others see sexual harassment as acceptable.

Wendy Smith, Career, life and Business Coach
Wendy Smith, Principal Coach, WiseWolf Life and Career Coaching

Wendy Smith is a career consultant, life coach and business coach with depth of experience in organisational development, management, coaching and personal development. That experience means she is equally at home helping clients find a new career direction, starting-up new businesses or dealing with life’s more challenging personal issues. You can contact her at wendy@wisewolfcoaching.com

Wendy has written a little eBook on how to get on with your boss and a book on job search – you can find all her books on Amazon at this link

         

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7 Steps To Take If You Have Been Sexually Harassed At Work

7 Steps To Take If You Have Been Sexually Harassed At Work

All Unwanted Sexual Touching Is More Than Harassment – It Is Sexual Assault

Today we are tackling a difficult and challenging subject.

It is important to understand that if someone touches you sexually at work, even over your clothing, it is not just sexual harassment or bullying  – it is also sexual assault and should be taken seriously.

But should you let  “harmless”  crude remarks and sexual innuendos go? No! If something is making you feel uncomfortable you should stop it right then and there before it escalates.

Here are steps to help you protect yourself and your civil rights if you have been or are being sexually harassed at work.

1. Confront The Harasser

Confront the person sexually harassing you. Look them in the eye and tell them what they did was inappropriate. Be specific and blunt – do not worry about being rude – you have a right to be.

2. Tell Them To Stop!

The first time someone does something you object to tell them “stop!”  Say it loud enough for others to hear for extra emphasis.  Never apologize or make excuses for the offender.

3. Document It Or Report It Immediately

Sexual harassment is wrong, illegal and deserves to be addressed.  But if you feel in your best judgment you have handled things in steps one and two above at least document the date, time, place, what happened, your action, and the harasser’s response.  If it ever happens again to you, or to someone else at work, you will have a history to refer to.

You can read the rest of these steps at this link.

Your rights to work in an environment free from sexual harassment are protected by  law in the US and the UK and in many other countries.  Your union or a lawyer will able to advise you if you have a case and what legal steps to take to sue your harasser or employer in civil court.

If you are physically injured by an attacker, you should call the police immediately, and then contact an attorney as soon as possible to document evidence you may need later to prove your case.

Many victims blame themselves in some way, or others may say a victim was “asking for it.”  But victims are not to blame – no one asks to be the subject of a sexual assault.

Please note! There is nothing clever about sexual horseplay in the office, even when the two main players are equal in power and believe they are consenting.  It is embarrassing and unpleasant for others.  And it may create a climate in which others see sexual harassment as acceptable.

Wendy Mason is a career coach.  She helps people reach their goals and aspirations, without sacrificing their home and personal life.  Before working as a coach, Wendy had a long career in both the public and private sectors in general management and consultancy as well as spells in HR.  She now divides her time between coaching and writing. You can contact Wendy at wendymason@wisewolfcoaching.com and find out more at http://wisewolfcoaching.com

Management – Preventing Violence and Harassment in the Workplace

Violence!

Management – Preventing Violence and Harassment in the Workplace

Any form of harassment and violence at work, whether it is committed by co-workers, managers or third-parties like customers or suppliers, is unacceptable.

As well as being wrong ethically, it affects the physical and psychological health of those involved. Yet according to the British Crime Survey (BCS) in 2006/07, there were an estimated 684,000 workplace incidents, (288,000 assaults and 397,000 threats of violence).

Tolerance, diversity, dignity and respect are benchmarks for business and organizational success, so it is in a manager’s interest to identify and address the threat of harassment and violence in the workplace.

But there are legal duties too.

Employers and managers are required to protect the health and safety of all their workers,. Failure to deal with, and take reasonable steps to prevent, harassment and violence not only undermines business performance, it could be unlawful.

Employers and unions have a common, shared interest in preventing harassment and violence. And in 2007, the European Union social partners reached an agreement on the issue.

As a result in the UK, the Trades Union Congress (TUC),the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) and the Partnership of Public Employers (PPE) for employers in the private and public sectors issued guidance to implement the agreement in the UK. This had the support of the Government, including the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (ACAS) and the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS).

The aim of the agreement and the guidance is to;

• Raise awareness and increase the understanding of employers, workers and their representatives of workplace harassment

• Provide employers, workers and their representatives with a framework of response to identify, prevent and manage problems of harassment and all forms of violence at work.

You can find the guidance at this link http://www.hse.gov.uk/violence/preventing-workplace-harassment.pdf

Want to be a Confident Networker? Join my free teleseminar on 26thJune 2012

Wendy Mason is a Life and Career Coach.  She helps people have the confidence they need to be successful at work and to change career while maintaining a good work/life balance. You can email her at wendymason@wisewolfcoaching.com


Other  articles by Wendy

 

Preventing Violence in the Workplace

Preventing Violence in the Workplace

Management – Preventing Violence and Harassment in the Workplace

Preventing Violence in the Workplace – any form of harassment and violence at work, whether it is committed by co-workers, managers or third-parties like customers or suppliers, is unacceptable.

As well as being wrong ethically, it affects the physical and psychological health of those involved. Yet according to the British Crime Survey (BCS) in 2006/07, there were an estimated 684,000 workplace incidents, (288,000 assaults and 397,000 threats of violence).

Tolerance, diversity, dignity and respect are benchmarks for business and organizational success, so it is in a manager’s interest to identify and address the threat of harassment and violence in the workplace. But there are legal duties too.

Preventing Violence in the Workplace

Employers and managers are required to protect the health and safety of all their workers,. Failure to deal with, and take reasonable steps to prevent, harassment and violence not only undermines business performance, it could be unlawful.

Employers and unions have a common, shared interest in preventing harassment and violence. And in 2007, the European Union social partners reached an agreement on the issue.

As a result in the UK, the Trades Union Congress (TUC),the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) and the Partnership of Public Employers (PPE) for employers in the private and public sectors issued guidance to implement the agreement in the UK. This had the support of the Government, including the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (ACAS) and the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS).

The aim of the agreement and the guidance is to;

• Raise awareness and increase the understanding of employers, workers and their representatives of workplace harassment

• Provide employers, workers and their representatives with a framework of response to identify, prevent and manage problems of harassment and all forms of violence at work.

You can find the guidance at this link http://www.hse.gov.uk/violence/preventing-workplace-harassment.pdf

Wendy Smith, Career, life and Business Coach
Wendy Smith, Principal Coach, WiseWolf Life and Career Coaching

Wendy Smith is a career consultant, life coach and business coach with depth of experience in organisational development, management, coaching and personal development. That experience means she is equally at home helping clients find a new career direction, starting-up new businesses or dealing with life’s more challenging personal issues. You can contact her at wendy@wisewolfcoaching.com

Wendy has written a little eBook on how to get on with your boss and a book on job search – you can find all her books on Amazon at this link