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New employees: You do not need to ‘get used to’ harassment

On Behalf of | Jan 15, 2021 | Sexual Harassment

When starting a new job, there are a lot of things that you might need to get used to, from clocking in and out and navigating new computer systems. This type of onboarding can be necessary for your job performance.

However, one thing you should not have to “get used to” is workplace harassment or discrimination.

Don’t get comfortable with rights violations

It can be quite jarring when new employees hear an offensive comment from a boss or see individual employees receiving preferential treatment. Other workers might say, “Oh, you’ll get used to it,” to make the new employee feel less uncomfortable.

But the fact is that harassment and discrimination on the job are not a company culture to which a person must adjust. Instead, it can be a major red flag that the company or certain parties do not respect employee rights.

In fact, Indiana laws specifically note that implying or demanding that workers submit to this type of conduct is unlawful.

Know your options

For many new employees, the last thing you might want to do in a new job is upset management. Therefore, you could feel like your only option is to try and ignore any harassment or discrimination.

But you have options when it comes to protecting your rights without compromising your job.

For instance, you can talk to someone you connect with at your new job. You might ask if anyone has filed a complaint about misconduct before or how others respond to harassment.

It can also be wise to set your own boundaries clearly and quickly.

Understand, too, that you can still protect yourself if you are not ready to file a complaint or report misconduct to HR. Until you feel more confident, document instances of harassment and discrimination. You might record voice memos on your phone or send yourself an email (not using work accounts) with details of any misconduct. These records can be invaluable in supporting your claims when you are ready to make a report.

There are plenty of adjustments people must make when they start a new job. However, having their rights as an employee violated is not something with which you should get comfortable.


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