Under-reporting Harassment: A Threat to the Office

Sexual Harassment at Work

Harassment is not a new concept in the workplace. What is alarming, however, is the idea that there might be a problem with under-reporting cases of harassment. Several actions from any employee may be considered harassment, but if the victim is not aware of it, they may simply brush it off and not report it.

What Is Sexual Harassment?

One of the most common kinds of workplace harassment an employee is subjected to is sexual harassment. It involves unwelcome acts and physical contact, demanding sexual favors, showing pornography, and other verbal or non-verbal sexual conducts. Sexually colored remarks are also considered harassment. Any person in Minnesota who feel uncomfortable about a certain remark should talk to someone from the human resources department to file a complaint.

Drawing the Line

Given the definition of workplace harassment, particularly sexual harassment, there is a problem with drawing the line. After all, friends may joke about sexual topics without meaning to harass anyone. It is, however, dependent on the victim and whether they felt offended by the remark. There needs to be an investigation into the issue to determine whether the person who made the remark has a tendency to do it often and to everyone. If a person is being singled out, they may be a target of sexual harassment. If a person constantly makes such remarks, there needs to be an evaluation of his character as well.

Harassment Outside of Work

Workplace harassment, sadly, does not just happen at work. In conferences, such as the popular DEF CON, complaints about workplace harassment have been rampant. Organizers are already working on correcting the issue, highlighting antiquated notions of the hacker conference as being a masculine event. According to Forbes, allowing the harassment to continue in the digital space is the same as inviting it into the physical space–the workplace.

Any employee who feels uncomfortable because of any remark or action initiated by a colleague should know that they can speak up. It’s time to report every incident and correct this problem before it becomes a widespread issue in the office.