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Harassment in Work Place

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Introduction

In the recent past, the rate of harassments has been on the rise. Unlike yester years where women were the target of this vice, things are changing at a very high rate whereby men are also falling victims of harassment. The ever increasing population has placed a lot of burden to the human populace thereby necessitating the struggle for the survival for the fittest. The diminishing resources makes human population to keep on struggling for survival and as a result, it has been known for some employers to take advantage of economic turmoil by sexually harassing the employees since they know the world is being faced by hard economic times. Since the employees on the other hand are in much need of the job, some end up giving in, not out of their consent and will but as a result of hoping to retain their job. This paper thus seeks to have an in-depth look at types of harassment that take place in organization, major causes and how such harassment can be prevented and avoided.

Types of harassment

Harassment is not limited to sex only as many people have previously believed, but may assume many forms unlike what many people think. It is thus paramount for employers and employees to understand clearly what might constitute harassment, how  to avoid going against the law as stipulated in many constitutions of the world. In a work place, a number of harassment are bound to happen more so when the management fails to put rules and regulations in place to minimize and avoid any kind of harassment. Some of the types of harassment that may occur in a workplace include: discrimination against race, age, gender, religion, political affiliation, sex, sexual orientation and mental and physical disability to mention but just a few (Peter, 200).

How each harassment takes place

Sexual harassment, which is the most reported crime, is deemed to take place when the victim is induced to involuntarily, whether physically or emotionally is compelled by the employer or other influential people in the organization to engage in sexual acts. The people in power use threats or their position to exploit those whom are under them sexually. This type of harassment is widespread across the world. Due to hard economic conditions people are facing across the world, many victims may not report such cases to police with the ear of them losing their job, hence having hard time in making the ends meet, in case they are fired by the employer. An organization should thus have a conducive environment that does not put any employer in danger of being sexually harassed. This can be achieved by creating an environment that does not tempt any worker, both junior and seniors from such temptations (Alba,2000).

Every individual should be given freedom for worship. At times, employer’s fails to uphold such rights of an employee and one might be discriminated against promotion, employment and freedom to worship based on religion. This is more apparent with the major religious denomination of the world whereby it is very rare to find one religious group employing a person from another religious group in their institutions. However, this problem is not very deep rooted to countries that have many denominations since such governments avoid disparity based on their religion ( Cary, 2010).

It is considered not to be in order to harass or discriminate a person due to his or her race. Such discrimination is bound to happen in the work place where majority of employees from a certain race may perceive other races as inferior which may lead to misunderstanding between the employees of different races. Recently, such a problem almost went out of hand in South Africa where the residents turned against the non-aliens blaming them for taking their jobs and thus contributing to aliens hard economic times. Harassment associated with race may also happen when a certain race of people for example Africans versus Indians might view one another with disgust and making one race to feel inferior or inadequate as compared to the other one.

Disability is a condition that renders an individual less disadvantaged than the normal population. This does not however mean that a disabled person can not perform certain tasks competitively just like the general population. A person with physical disability can be very competent when given task than involve brain power. When organization fails to recognize the special talents the disabled or rather special population people are capable of doing, it can lead to serious harassment of such people. Other employees might also harass them as well by having notion that they are better than them (Margaret,2002).

Another way in which harassment might happen in a work place is where the employer appears to be having an already fixed mind on whom to hire and promote. Asking personal details like religion and political affiliation is at times considered to be a type of harassment. It is unethical to create conditions that out rightly appear to favor certain people than others.  Harassment in work place can thus take many forms and it is the responsibility of each and every individual to uphold dignity and avoid any kind of harassment.

Effects of harassment in an organization

Any form of harassment in an organization may lead to a bad reputation to the public, which might adversely affect its operation. When known to the public, people will have a negative perception towards the organization and can lead to collapsing of the organization.

Harassment in work place may also cause conflicts and creating rifts between different groups. In long term, it can lower productivity since employees might spend a lot of time gossiping and dealing with frustrations of being harassed. Other negative effects will include low motivation, enhanced enmity and lack of commitment towards organizational goals and objectives.

How to avoid legal liability

A company’s reputation may be ruined by merely one act of discrimination. In order to avoid harassment that may be advanced by employee without the knowledge of top management, it is paramount for an organization to have guidelines that discourage harassment. All employees should be given a copy of the guideline which they should sign and affirm to abide by. A company should also create conducive atmosphere for its employees and should have a complaints office where any kind of harassment is reported. There should also frequent reminders to employees on importance of avoiding harassment and necessary actions should be taken to any person found harassing others in the organization (Lyna, 2008).

In a nutshell, harassment should be avoided in an organization by all means. All workers should be treated with dignity and without any kind of discrimination. Employers should however be aware that they can be held liable should any harassment take place within their organization and them failing to take any necessary action to discourage it. Harassment is not only terms of harassment but rather takes many forms including discrimination against race, gender and age. To be on the safer side and to enhance productivity of an organization, harassment should be discouraged and all employees educated on importance of discouraging the same with a focus of enhancing organizations performance as well as harmony.

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