Someone in my office is being harassed by our boss, what can I do about it?
Last Updated: 02/24/2020 at 5:57pm
Lisa Groesz, PhD
With evidenced based therapies, we find the root of the problem together to implement solutions. We all face crises, transitions, or disorders at some time.
Top Rated Answers
Never escalate the bullying, keep a record , gather witnesses, stay patient. Meditate and relax in the mean time.
Bullying is not right in any case. Being the person that is on the receiving end of it would feel a little glimmer of hope if someone as a bi-stander would speak up. If that doesn't help, I would consider contacting the labour board and the bullies boss. This can all be done anonymously.
Report your boss to a higher authority because no boss has the right to harass any of their workers what so ever.
An easy fix would be to go to Human Resources, but there is always the option of gathering other co-workers and having an intervention.
If you feel comfortable, you both should file a complaint or make a petition because your boss might be harassing others as well.
The best thing to do with harassment is to report it. I know when it's your boss it can be hard to figure out who to talk to. Support your friend and find the correct people to talk to. Harassment isn't something you should have to tolerate, and reporting it to the right people should not only stop them from harassing you, but harassing others as well.
Help your coworker report the harassment to HR and let them know you are around if they need to talk!
What type of harassment is it? Is there an anonymous reporting function in your workplace? Have you initiated or presented yourself as a person who will listen, for support to your friend? Harassment is a broad term and it should be clearly defined by type as this makes it easier to report the harassment. Really, if you are comfortable taking on the role of a supportive co-worker or friend is always helpful.
One can always approach the HR department and file a complaint... Or atleast bring it to their notice.. If they do not cooperate, then inform the higher authorities
If someone is being harassed by your boss, you can ask this person if they are willing to file a complaint. Doing so without their consent is not the best way to go about it, especially because it may cause a rift and things may get worse. If they are willing to file a report, they can always do it through the legal system as well! Please do speak to them about it first.
Let them know you support them. Write down or record any bad behavior you witness as objectively as you can including the day, date and time and as many details as you can remember. Offer to be a court witness for your coworker. You are protected from retaliation by whistleblower laws. Refer them to the equal opportunity employment commission website http://www.eeoc.gov/laws/types/harassment.cfm
I would go straight to HR. If you confront your boss things may not go the way you might expect and then the harassment is on you. I would also try talking to the co-worker about being harassed because if they went to HR themselves its more likely something will be done about it.
I'd say if you were absolutely certain about it, if you have any evidence of it or have witnessed it yourself and think it is safe to do so, you should probably report it.
Depending on your organization, you might have more choices than you think. The very first thing you should do is check to see whether your company has a published policy about the way people treat each other at work. That policy should describe what is defined as 'harassment' and what someone should do about it. If there is no policy in place, you should recommend the person speak to someone either above or outside of their boss's power structure. Be careful that this person is not a friend of the boss, or has something to lose by seeing the boss fired because they may not act with the highest morals in this situation, but instead look out for themselves firs. This is a normal reaction to crazy things. So find someone who is either neutral to your office's situation, or has reason to want this boss removed. HR is usually a good place to go, but sometimes even the HR people have a very good relationship with the person in the wrong. Before you PERSONALLY do anything to act, it is best that you spend some time when you can to write down what you know, and how you know it. Any dates and peoples' names add credibility to your record and help you remember things that might be specifically helpful in the company's response to the complaint - whether it is originally filed by you or the other person. If you want to personally step forward, you should be very careful that you do so in a way that is perceived as protecting the company - that protecting the individual from harassment is protecting the company, its mission and its projects. This means don't 'complain' about what you are seeing or hearing as if it affects you personally, but that you have simply seen or heard things that are inappropriate and are passing it along to a responsible authority. If you come across as having a personal buy-in to the outcome, you might be seen by some people as another threat, rather than a source of help and goodness. These situations can get very complicated, and also legally messy. You should do your homework before you act, take good notes, and make sure that whatever you do is in line with the highest professionalism. You should also emotionally prepare yourself for the possible outcome that the problem is never solved. Promise yourself you will personally try to look for another job where you can start fresh without this additional baggage at work.
You can tell a co-worker or maybe someone in Human Relations. If not then you can try someone close to you, maybe they can know what to do.
Is there anyone that you can report that to. If yes please do so. At the same time if you can advice that person that is being harassed if he wants he can make a report or stand up for himself will be good. But remember only intervene if that person that is the victim wants you to help else its no use helping someone who does not want to help themselves.
If the harassment is very serious, you definitely have to stop it by being assertive and saying "I would have to inform the authorities if you continue treating me this way". Other wise if it does not and appears trivial yet a harassment, you might want to bring up to colleagues you are close with and ask them about how to tackle this situation.
From my experience, it can be difficult to approach a superior who is miss treating you or someone you know in fear of retaliation and losing employment. In this case, it is important to know the the details of who, what, when, and where. Often times, employers have a human resources division that you may reach out to that is required to maintain confidentiality. Before reaching out, be sure that your coworker knows your intentions so that they aren't surprised by a call. It is critical as well that you document all incidents so that there is some record of it and not only he said she said.
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