Harassment in the workplace

24th April, 2017   |    By Jess   |    4 min read

The workplace should be a safe environment.  A place where you come to do your job and a place that you should feel comfortable around your co-workers, managers/superiors and customers.

The workplace is a place where you should be free of harassment and a place that you should feel confident in at all times. That is why workplace harassment is not tolerated.

Harassment in the workplace can take any of the following forms from physiological to physical, to verbal and cyber to blackmail and so on. In fact it is where a person is subjected to behaviour, other than sexual harassment, that 1:

  • is repeated, unwelcome and unsolicited
  • the person considers to be offensive, intimidating, humiliating or threatening
  • a reasonable person would consider to be offensive, humiliating, intimidating or threatening.

These behaviours can cause the victim to suffer from stress, depression, anxiety, fear and can make the workplace an uncomfortable and unenjoyable place to visit.

Harassment can affect your performance ability at work, it can stop you from reaching full potential in the workplace and can even cause you to cut back hours or quit due to the stress/harassment you are experiencing from the person/persons harassing you.

The most important thing about workplace harassment is to notify someone immediately and put it to a stop – a first great step is to check your workplace policy and procedures and find out what the process is for putting in a complaint or raising the issue. You may like to start by chatting to your manager or even a trusted co-worker that is happy to help you through the situation. Awareness needs to be raised to decrease the prevalence of workplace harassment and to stop the issue from reaching a more serious stage and to ensure the workplace is equitable for you to work.

If any threatening messages via computer, phone or even writing have been sent/given to you by a co-worker keep them, as evidence if the issue is raised to the attention of police and if you need to give evidence if it progresses to a court case. Workplace harassment is against the law and is not tolerated under any circumstances. If you feel too scared or uncomfortable talking to someone about harassment you are or have experienced you need to try and speak up and let someone know, it will help the issue stop and make work more enjoyable for you, as well as relieve the stress of keeping all the pressure of harassment to yourself. Even leaving an anonymous note to a supervisor can help you. Harassment of any sort can lead to mental illness and can be a contributing factor to teenage suicide, so break the chain and put an end to harassment before it changes the person you are and impacts on your life.

The workplace is an environment that assists in preparing you for the future. It teaches you life skills that can be essential to providing a future for a career in any area; whether it be retail, construction, beauty or education, it all helps and nothing should get in the way of your future. Don’t let anything stop you from achieving your goals for the future, stand up against harassment and ensure that your workplace is a place that you want to go to learn, gain experience and prepare for your future. Put a STOP against it, it’s your life to control, not for someone else to control through harassment.

For further information refer to the policy and procedures at your workplace about how to make a complaint or contact the Workplace Health and Safety branch in your local area for further information.




Also check the related topics:  

Bullying Finding and starting work Stress

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