Harassment At Work

Harassment at work is offensive behaviour and unwanted conduct and can be related to age, race, religion, sex, disability, sexual orientation or nationality. Harassment in the workplace is unlawful and can result in a tribunal, often with a large amount of damages being paid out to the victim.

Harassment can take the form of face-to-face conduct, email, letter, telephone or text message. It can be an isolated incident or a continuous episode of unacceptable and offensive behaviour towards an individual or a group of individuals.

What Is Sexual Harassment?

Sexual harassment in the workplace is more commonly an issue which affects women rather than men but for both genders, it is unacceptable and occurs more often than known. If you have been a victim of harassment you may feel embarrassed and unsure about how to proceed. Do not let the individual who is effecting you make you feel small and remember you have every right to be upset if you are experiencing sexual harassment.

Unfortunately Sexual Harassment occurs Sexual harassment can be verbal, physical or non verbal. Whether you feel that you are being stared at in an inappropriate way, being explicitly propositioned or being sexually assaulted in the workplace you have every right to complain.

Harassment does not need be multiple instances for it to be classified as such; one occasion of harassment is enough for it to be inappropriate. Every instance is different. For this reason do remember sometimes sexual harassment can be a grey area so make sure you confide in someone you trust so a third party can back up your claims if you need them to and keep a record of all the occurrences of harassment if you can.

If the harassment occurs via email, text message and so on ensure you do not delete the messages. You may find it humiliating to keep explicit emails but it will all be hard evidence to support your case and show clearly that you are not reciprocating the behaviour.

How Do I Deal With Harassment?

Firstly, remember that the person may not realise the negative effect their actions are having on you. Talk to them directly. If you are concerned about their reaction ask an impartial colleague to attend the meeting for mediation purposes.

Essentially this meeting will simply serve to highlight the issue as they may categorise different behaviour as offensive compared to you, in fact in some cases of harassment the harasser may have seen their actions as flattery rather than something untoward.

However, do not let them be dismissive of you or your complaint. Feelings are feelings, and if you are uncomfortable in the workplace they should make moves to diffuse the situation regardless of their interpretation of the matter.

If approaching them directly does not work, you must take the matter further. If your company has specific procedures in place to deal with matters such as this you should make use of them.

If you have not already notified your employer of the situation you should log an official complaint with them.

Your employer should take the matter seriously and conduct a formal investigation into the matter. If you do not feel that you employer deals with the matter appropriately you then could consider legal action.

You should instruct a solicitor if you cannot resolve the matter with your employer. A harassment claim can be made against anyone; if you feel you have to leave your place of work due to the harassment it is possible to pursue legal action against your employer after you have moved on. You must make a claim within 3 months of the incident for it to be viable. There are laws protecting you from sexual harassment in the workplace for a reason so make full use of your legal rights. If you are a member of a trade union you could speak to a union representative about your chances of pursuing a successful claim or you can seek help from ACAS.

What are the Costs?

1stClaims does not charge you for using our service and all initial enquiries with our Solicitors are also free of charge, so rest assured, this initial step of making an enquiry will not cost you anything.

Once one of our Solicitors has assessed the merits of your enquiry they will make a judgement on the likely chances of bringing a successful claim and if the prospects are good, they will normally offer to take your case on a No Win No Fee basis. NOTE: If your case is successful your Solicitor will deduct 35% of your final settlement or compensation award as payment for their fees. You can find out more about No Win No Fee arrangements and the potential costs that can be incurred by clicking here.

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How To Sue For Harrassment

Get in touch with a specialist employment solicitor today if you have experienced sexual or any other harassment in the workplace and you feel it was not dealt with properly by your employer.

Claiming with a specialist lawyer will give you the best chance of being paid the damages you deserve. If your solicitor cannot get your employer to pay you what you deserve your final port of call is an independent employment tribunal. If your legal case is at a standstill you can apply to take your case to an employment tribunal.

The form you need is an ‘Employment tribunals claim form’ and this is easily downloadable from the government justice website. Again you must take your case to tribunal rapidly for it to be considered. So to protect others from becoming victim to the same harassment you were and to be receive compensation for the failure of your employer to protect you in the workplace you should contact a legal professional today.


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