The basic definition of harassment is “unwanted or unwelcome behaviour” that “violates your dignity and creates a hostile environment”. Of course, this is not always the easiest thing to prove. However, it is important that employers take this seriously and in this article, we are going to look at how you prove harassment and more importantly take steps to stop it from happening and to help employers clamp down on it.
The 2010 Equality Act was brought in to make it easier for people to report any instances of harassment. This can be based on a person’s gender, race, sexuality, religion or other factors (these are usually referred to as protected characteristics). Amongst another things harassment can include:-
- Spoken or written words, threats and abuse
- Physical behaviour or gestures
- Excessive teasing or pranks
- Nasty comments on forums or social media
- Abuse that takes place outside the working environment but still related (such as an office party or conference)
It should be said that even if you feel that these things are not serious enough to warrant legal action it is still possible to complain to your employer about them.
You can also make a complaint if a customer or client harasses you and your employer does not take sufficient steps to prevent it.
If it continues
If you raise a complaint but this does not stop then you can take your case to an employment tribunal. It is important to have detailed notes and to file a complaint as soon as possible. If you can get other people who have been affected to discuss it as it will be harder for the complaint to be ignored if it comes from a number of people (or in the case of a tribunal you have sufficient evidence).
Essentially during the tribunal, they will look at the evidence to decide how much of this was direct or in direct and if they decide that the harassment was serious enough then you would get a higher level of compensation then if they feel that the harassment that took place was unintentional.
Why you need representation
A good legal representative will look at the facts of the case and decide of the likelihood of a positive verdict. When it comes to proving harassment, it is about looking at what took place and the reaction that followed.
It is likely that if you have got to this point then you would probably feel sufficient steps have not been taken in order to maintain a more positive workplace.
Ultimately it is in an employer’s best interest to ensure people feel comfortable working in their environment. If this is not sufficiently dealt with then it can harm their reputation and they could miss out on talented employees who may feel that they would not be properly looked after in the event of any problems.
This is why we feel that claims of this nature need to be taken seriously. For more information or to discuss your circumstances in more detail please contact Larcomes today and we can get you in touch with an experienced legal professional who can help.