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I'll share a few tips around managing workplace harassment & discrimination tomorrow evening, as I've learned.

I'll share around reporting harassment, your organisation's obligation, how to handle feedback if you're the offender, and behaviours and actions to stop. #DisruptHR
Ok, I am here to share on workplace harassment and discrimination.

The truth is many people are oblivious of things that seem appropriate but are actually inappropriate in the workplace - and can be termed harassment or discrimination.
There are 3 key people in every case of harassment and discrimination.

The Offender: the one that perpetrates the harassment/discrimination
The Offended: the target/recipient of harassment/discrimination
The Observer: the one aware of the situation - heard/seen
The observer can be: you - the colleague/boss/subordinate of the offended, the HR that heard about the case and acted/not, the management of the organisation and every other person.
Legally & best practice requires that employers provide their employees with a workplace free from harassment and discrimination, and free from retaliation against employees who report unlawful conduct of coworkers or supervisors to authorities.
Part of taking the required preemptive approach is implementing a comprehensive workplace policy against harassment, discrimination, and retaliation, and developing a reporting procedure for employees when they perceive they are the subject of such unlawful behavior.
Once these policies and procedures are developed, it is vital to advise employees of these policies and procedures in writing or, more commonly, by inclusion in an employee handbook adopted by the employer.
As part of the employer’s duty to prevent workplace harassment, discrimination, and retaliation, there's the need to also implement steps for appropriate corrective action when there is an allegation of such conduct, which begins with an investigation to sanctions.
While employees should be encouraged to report harassment, discrimination, and retaliation - organisations should also appoint individuals (culture champions, HR, Exec. Mgt./Board) to investigate complaints of harassment and discrimination.
One important part of any investigation is that it be neutral and objective. Organisations can choose to have a neutral third party such as a lawyer/external employment law HR & lead investigator to be of the same gender as the victim for sexual harassment to limit bias).
A lot of confidentiality is required during the investigation, to protect the victim and alleged offender (if not guilty) and anyone that might have reported. To protect them from retaliation, and stigmatisation post-investigation or sanction.
In cases where offenders are found guilty, appropriate punishment should be delivered to instil trust, and protect the company from litigation. Where an offended believes they didn't get justice - they can sue the offender and their organisation.
For employees, there are different types of discriminations in the workplace:

Skin Color
National Origin
Mental or Physical Disability
Genetic Information
Relationship to someone who may be discriminated against
Pregnancy or Parental Status
It's important to note that discriminatory practices can occur in many ways - and it's often based on assumptions. Therefore, it is important to educate employees and create awareness on how biases can promote discrimination in the workplace.
Discrimination can be direct or indirect.

Direct means treating a person with a particular attribute differently than a person without that attribute.

Indirect means imposing a general requirement that someone with a certain attribute cannot comply with.
To prevent discrimination in the workplace

It is important the organisation create objective systems that can monitor, manage and help prevent discrimination.
They should educate & train employees about discrimination, encourage mutual respect of each other’s differences, respond to & deal with any complaints of inappropriate behaviour promptly, develop, enforce & frequently communicate workplace policy that prohibits discrimination.
On harassment; it is any verbal or physical badgering based on sex, religion, or race. It may include offensive jokes, slurs, name-calling, physical assaults or threats, intimidation, ridicule, insults, offensive pictures, and other behavior.
Sexual harassment includes any uninvited comments, conduct, or behavior regarding sex, gender, or sexual orientation. It is important to recognize what qualifies as harassment, how to file a harassment claim, and what to do if you lose your job for reporting harassment.
Each person has the right to decide what behaviour is either acceptable or unacceptable.

If an individual finds certain behaviour unacceptable and he or she feels offended by it, then that individual has every right to say so, and his or her right to do so must be respected.
When it comes to body contact or touch in the workplace, the hand to the elbow is what is commonly allowed. Any touch beyond the elbow can be described as harassment by the offended, if it's unwelcomed.
Here are top harassment types and how they are perpetrated:

Discriminatory Harassment:
Racial - because of their race, skin colour, or citizenship.

Racial slurs
Racial insults
Racial jokes
Degrading comments
Intolerance of differences

They are all harassment!
Gender-based - behavior towards a person based on their gender.

Negative gender stereotypes about how men and women should or do act are often the center of the harassment. Some examples are:

E.g. A male nurse faces harassment for having what is perceived as a woman’s job.
Religious - narrows on the victim’s differing religion or religious beliefs.

Intolerance toward religious holidays, traditions & customs
Cruel religious jokes
Degrading stereotypical comments
Pressures to convert religion
Disability-Based is directed towards individuals who either:

Suffer from a disability
Are acquainted with a disabled person/people
Use disability services
Harmful teasing and patronizing comments, refusals to reasonably accommodate or isolation.
Physical harassment often called workplace violence/assault, involves physical attacks or threats. Could include;

Direct threats of intent to inflict harm
Physical attacks (hitting, shoving, kicking)
Threatening behavior (shaking fists angrily)
Destroying property to intimidate
Power harassment is characterized by a power disparity between the offender and offended.

The offender exercises their power by bullying a victim who is lower on the office hierarchy. It can be verbal in the form of intimidation, making excessive demands or demeaning tasks.
With the advent of social media/digital media in the workplace, cyberbullying can also occur. Can be:

Sharing humiliating info by mass email or mass chat, spreading lies or gossip on social media, sending harassing instant messages or text messages.
Sexual harassment includes unwanted sexual advances, conduct or behavior.

Sharing sexual photos (pornography)
Posting sexual posters
Sexual comments, jokes, questions
Inappropriate sexual touching - tickling, poking etc.
Inappropriate sexual gestures
Quid pro quo (this for that) is a type of exchange-based sexual harassment.

If job benefits are offered to an employee on the condition that they partake in some sexual conduct, it’s typically referred to as quid pro quo sexual harassment. It can also be a form of blackmail.
In Quid Pro Quo, the exchange for sexual offer could be in exchange to:

Receive a job offer
Receive a promotion
Receive a raise
Receive opportunities
Avoid a demotion
Avoid termination
Third-party harassment is perpetrated by a “third party” – someone from outside the coy- customer/client, vendor, supplier.

Regardless of who the offender is, an employer’s responsibility is to prevent such behavior. A customer bullying a customer service agent falls here.
It is important that we know the ones we might have been culpable of, and unlearn them as appropriate.

If an offended person sues - the offender, observer, and employer will be held liable. Let us unlearn behaviors that could lead to harassment and discrimination at work.
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