Handling Harassment in the Workplace: 3 Tips Every Employee Needs to Know

Chances are you spent years dreaming of finding the perfect job. Maybe you wanted to be a nurse and work alongside doctors to heal sick patients. Maybe you wanted to work in an office where you could be part of an exciting team. Perhaps your dream was to work in a restaurant where you could craft incredible meals for hungry patrons. No matter where you saw yourself working, however, you probably didn't think you'd be discriminated against or harassed while at work.

Workplace harassment can be an incredible devastating experience for everyone involved. When you go to work, you have the right to feel safe. You shouldn't have to deal with being teased, taunted, or discriminated against based on your sexual identity, your religion, or your marital status. There are many laws in place designed to ensure that employees are treated fairly regardless of their age or race, as well. If you believe you're being discriminated against at work, there are a few things you need to understand.

1. It's okay to want to work without being harassed

First off, remember that you are not wrong for wanting to work in a safe and harassment-free environment. Sometimes, when you bring up the topic of harassment, other employees may feel that you're being unfair or inconsiderate. They may be used to making jokes at other peoples' expense and may resent the fact that you're standing up for yourself. Remember that you are not wrong for wanting to work in a safe environment where you are not perpetually mocked or discriminated against.

2. You do not need to tough it out

Sometimes, social pressure may make you feel like you need to be stronger or "tougher." This couldn't be further from the truth. In reality, civil rights laws are designed to ensure that employees are able to go to work without fearing for their lives or safety. Additionally, you have the right to work in an environment that is safe and not hostile.

3. Your HR department may be able to help

If you're being harassed or discriminated against at work, it's time to talk to your company's HR department. Many companies prefer to handle discrimination or harassment claims within the company. You may be asked to provide evidence of the harassment, so consider asking team members who may have witnessed the harassment to make a statement on your behalf. Additionally, you may provide emails or text messages that showcase the discrimination, as well.

Once you have discovered that despite reporting the harassment at work, nothing has changed, then it's time to talk with an attorney. Call today to schedule a consultation to talk about your civil rights in the workplace and what your next steps should be.