Being harassed at work can make being there uncomfortable and it creates a hostile environment for you. If you’re being harassed by a coworker, you can report it to a supervisor and it will usually be taken care of. However, when your harasser is a supervisor or manager, what do you do? Taking these steps will help you get legal assistance when you’re being harassed at your workplace by a superior.
What Is Harassment?
Under the law, harassment is any behaviours that are offensive to someone or that make him or her feel intimidated. Harassment by an employer may take the form of unfair treatment, malicious rumours being spread about you, undermining your work, or denying you training or promotion opportunities.
This harassment can take place face-to-face, by email, by telephone, or by sending you a letter. The law states this type of behaviour is harassment if it is related to your:
- Gender, including gender reassignment
- Marriage or civil partnership
- Religion or belief system
- Sexual orientation
- Pregnancy and maternity status
How to Report Harassment
If you are being harassed by a superior at work, there are some steps you should take prior to seeking help from Dorking solicitors. It is always a good idea to document any and all of the times you felt harassed by your employer and to keep any documentation you may receive from them. While you don’t necessarily need to prove that it is taking place to report it, it is always a good idea to have specific information of the occurrences. Follow the protocol at work to report instances of harassment including reporting it to human resources, another manager, and your trade union if applicable.
If reporting the harassment doesn’t result in action being taken, then file a grievance with your employer using their procedures. If your company doesn’t have procedures set up to report harassment, seek a solicitor to help you take legal action at an employment tribunal.
A tribunal is a way to make a legal claim of harassment against an employer. It is not the same as going to court because the tribunal is independent of the government. Their role is to listen to the parties involved including you (the claimant) and the respondent (the employer).
Since there are time limits for making claims, you should consult with a solicitor to get his or her advice and help with the paperwork that you will need to fill out. He or she can also help advocate on your behalf as the claim moves forward and make sure all the steps are taken prior to any hearing regarding your claim. Your solicitor will also help you prepare all the necessary documentation including a schedule of losses to present during the proceedings.
A schedule of losses will consist of two parts: the basic award and the compensatory award. Your lawyer will discuss this information with you and help you come up with a compensation amount for your claim. If you’ve reported your superior and nothing seems to have been done, contact a solicitor regarding a harassment claim.