Third party harassment in the workplace refers to harassment that is directed towards an employee by a person who is not a co-worker or supervisor. This can include harassment by clients, customers, vendors, or other individuals who are not employed by the organisation.
Identifying Third Party Harassment
It is important to be able to identify third party harassment to take steps to address it. Some common signs of third-party harassment include:
- Verbal abuse or insults
- Threats or intimidation
- Bullying or aggressive behaviour
- Discriminatory or biased behaviour
- Harassment based on an employee’s protected characteristic such as race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, etc.
It’s important to note that third party harassment is a pattern of behaviour that is intended to degrade, humiliate, or undermine the employee.
Preventing Third Party Harassment
Preventing third party harassment in the workplace is the responsibility of the employer, but employees can also play a role in preventing it. Employers should have clear policies in place that define what constitutes third-party harassment and provide a mechanism for reporting and addressing it. They should also conduct regular training for employees to raise awareness about the issue and provide guidance on how to prevent it.
Employees can take steps to protect themselves from third party harassment. These steps include:
- Communicating boundaries assertively and professionally with clients or customers
- Refusing to tolerate or participate in any behaviour that constitutes harassment
- Reporting any third-party harassment to the appropriate person or department such as a supervisor, manager, or HR representative
- Responding to Third Party Harassment
If an employee is being harassed by a third party, it’s important to take steps to address it as soon as possible. The first step is to report the behaviour to the appropriate person or department, such as a supervisor, HR representative, or a manager.
Employers should take all reports of third-party harassment seriously and take prompt action to investigate the situation and take appropriate measures to address it. This can include removing the employee from the situation, increasing security, or ending the business relationship with the third party. The employer also must provide support and protection to the employee and take measures to prevent reoccurrence of similar incidents.
It’s important to remember that third-party harassment can have serious consequences for the employee and the organisation. By identifying, preventing, and responding to third-party harassment, we can create a safe and healthy work environment for all employees.
If you are looking for a way to educate your workforce and make your workplace a safer place, contact Sentrient for a free demo today.