Deal with sexual harassment at work

Sexually harassment at work. Picture Credit: GoogleImages

That subtle touch in a meeting, the unnecessary brushing against you as you pass that coffee machine could all be sexual harassment at work. India has very weak laws pertaining to sexual harassment. In the US about 31% of working women say they have been harassed at some point.

You might be overlooking it

Some people have the habit of touching as they talk. It is so subtle you won’t even mind or realize this. Always remaining aware is the key. Keep your eyes and ears open always.
Another incident that often happens is brushing past especially near the water coolers, coffee machines or cramped office places in general.  Saying sorry is not an apology, categorically tell that person to say an excuse me next time. If anything is making you uncomfortable, just keep an eye on that person, usually the gut instinct kicks before anything happens.

Some co-workers tend to send vulgar or indirect prepositioning emails. Tell them to stop and always document these mails in a folder. If the need ever arises, having a proof can be helpful.

How to take action

Most offices have strong laws against sexual harassment. So inform the human resources department if someone makes you uncomfortable. You can refuse to work with someone who makes you nervous.

Points to remember

1. If you feel uncomfortable in someone’s presence, always confide with your friends at workplace.

2. Immediately inform HR if you feel that you have been harassed.

3. Confront the person in question; chances are someone else has had a similar experience too.

4. Never delete e-mails if they read vulgar in any manner.

5. Be aware.