Have you experienced being harassed by a co-worker or even your boss? If so, then you should know that these incidents should never be swept under the rug. Not reporting it is a crime in itself.
Depending on your company structure, a harassment report should be filed as soon as possible using a complaint form to inform the HR department and management about the misbehavior. This will also serve as your official statement for review.
Depending on the severity of the harassment, a lawyer may be present to investigate and mediate.
If your company still does not have a report form that employees can use, you can write one and propose it to management. Here is how you can do it:
- Start with making an introduction. The start of the form should answer what the harassment report complaint form is, when to use it, and how to use it. It is also important to define “harassment” itself for employees to know if what they have experienced is covered by the said form. Usually, harassment can be defined by a physical, visual, or verbal misconduct. It can be sexual in nature or not. But it is an untoward act that makes an employee uneasy in the office environment that it is affecting work.
- Place the necessary fields to accomplish. Make sure there is an area for the complainant’s name and the alleged personnel. The positions of both parties are also needed. Get the contact information of the complainant too. Of course, do not forget the section where the employee can narrate the incident and cite when and where it happened. In case the incident has happened a couple of times already in the past, there should be a section in the form where it can be stated. Have a field for witnesses and their relation to both complainant and alleged personnel. Encourage the complainant to write as much information as possible, so make the fields long enough to accommodate long narrations. Otherwise, the complainant will be forced to summarize.
- Ensure security and discretion. One of the main reasons why employees do not report incidents of harassment is because they do not feel safe or they are ashamed of what happened. Have a section in the form that assures the complainant that the report will be confidential and will not affect work evaluation.
- Have the company lawyer review the form. When the form reaches its almost-final condition, have the company lawyer review it. Prepare to make some changes based on the feedback received.
- Make the employees aware of the form. Send out an office-wide email announcing the existence of the form, what it is for, and where it can be found.
- Review your company handbook. Check the company handbook if harassment is covered. You may use the description in the handbook for the introduction part. Also, the handbook can be the basis for the sanctions once the personnel is proven guilty.
The bottom part of the harassment form will be for signatures. Have a place for the complainant to sign as well as witnesses that are willing to support the report, also a place for the HR personnel to sign that the accomplished form has been received and read.