How to Formally Complain about Harassment at Work

Harassment in the workplaceis illegal. When harassment occurs, you need to officially report the problem. Using sexual harassment as an example, this is how to approach making an official complaint.

Sexual Harassment

When you feel like you’re being sexually harassed, you need to file a formal complaint. Your company probably has procedures in place. Most likely these say to report it to your boss or the Human Resources Department.

To keep reading, click here: How to Formally Complain about Harassment at Work

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5 thoughts on “How to Formally Complain about Harassment at Work

  1. What about when you’re not sure it was sexual harassment?

    I filed a complaint about two men in my workplace making inappropriate comments about my body.

    After it was reported and investigated, nothing really happened to anyone’s detriment. The incident and procedure are documented in HR’s office.

    The men were questioned privately and their story is that I misinterpreted their comments about my body, and they were actually talking about work stuff. The nature of the comment and the fact I don’t remember their exact words, mean it boils down a he said/she said situation.

    I guess my question is a) should I have reported it, or should I have asked the men to clarify/repeat their comments before reporting it? and b) does my uncertainty even matter here? What if I was wrong and I’m the one who heard their comments wrong?

    1. Yes, you should have reported it. They investigated it and didn’t find enough evidence to do anything. You may well have been wrong. They may have lied. A lot of cases turn out like this. But, since you reported it, I would bet these guys will be on better behavior. And, if something happens in the future, there’s documentation about this incident.

  2. It is extremely important to report any form of sexual harassment at work. However, there are few people who decide to do it simply because they are not fully aware how to write such a formal complaint. This example is very well detailed and points out all the steps that need to be included. It is important to be specific. As there are no legal measurements that can be taken against you for making such a complaint, there are no reasons to tolerate an inappropriate behaviour from anyone at work, regardless his/her position.

  3. Very important point here. Filing a formal complaint is very important – even if action can’t be taken for that specific incident, it’s good to have something on record like that in case it happens again. Thanks for sharing this!

  4. Filing a formal complaint seems to me like it should be the last resort. I would think that handling the issue on your own without having to involve anyone else would be the best move, but if it can’t be sorted out before then, well I guess that’s why we have HR. I found another great article about how HR keeps a steady, productive work environment.

    I’ve also worked with these guys, All Things HR (where I got the article from) and they do a good job, they really know their stuff.

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