How to Recognise and Report Workplace Harassment

Workplace harassment isn’t always easy to recognize. Many cases of harassment in the workplace go unnoticed or unreported, especially when they involve subtle and indirect behaviours that are difficult to spot. Nevertheless, recognising and reporting workplace harassment is essential. In this blog, we’ll share our top tips on how to create a safer work environment.

how to recognize workplace harassment

What is Workplace Harassment?

Before we can explore the signs of workplace harassment, we’ll need to state its definition. Harassment in the workplace refers to any unwelcome comments or behaviours based on a set of protected characteristics. This includes:

  • Religion
  • Sex
  • Disability
  • Age

Harassment can manifest itself in various forms, including verbal, physical, or written actions all of which create a hostile work environment. Your company should have zero tolerance when it comes to harassment.

Recognise the Tell-Tale Signs

Overt harassment is much easier to recognise, however, workplace harassment can also be subtle. Overall, you should look for behaviours like offensive jokes, derogatory comments, unwanted advances, inappropriate gestures, or exclusionary actions. A covert example would be sending emails with offensive slurs about race or religion. A subtle example could be making sarcastic comments or jokes about race or religion.

Document All Evidence

If yourself, or a colleague, are experiencing any form of harassment in the workplace, it’s important that you maintain a detailed record of the events. Make a note of the dates, times, locations, and descriptions of the incidents. Similarly, it’s a good idea to write down any witnesses who were present.

Investigate Company Policy

When it comes to reporting harassment, most companies will have a set of policies and guidelines that employees should follow. This is important as it can ensure confidentiality and impartiality. Once you know what steps to take, approach the appropriate people and make use of the resources within your organisation.

Report the Harassment

Now that you know what the established procedure for reporting harassment is, make sure to follow through. Not only will this help your employer address the issue swiftly and effectively, but it can also deter others from experiencing harassment in the future. Be as honest as possible in your report and remember to write down all the details as this will help support your claim.

Seek Support and Legal Advice

Last but not least, it’s important to build a support system around you during these difficult times. You may even want to consider seeking advice from a team of legal professionals like HKM. Don’t forget to speak to friends and family members about your experience as they can provide a helping hand during emotionally draining times.

As a victim of harassment, it’s completely normal to fear the consequences of reporting the crime. Many individuals do not stand up for themselves because they fear retaliation, damage to their reputation, or consider the whole ordeal too complicated. However, the reality is that, as an employee, you have rights. With a legal professional guiding you through the process, you can put a stop to workplace harassment and help pave the way for future employees too.

What You Should Know About Nursing Home Abuse in Chicago

When it comes to nursing home abuse, many different types of abuse or neglect can occur. One of the most common is physical abuse, which can include hitting or kicking an elderly person. Other forms of physical abuse include:

  • Burning or scalding an elderly person with hot water or food.
  • Using force against them.
  • Depriving them of food or water.
  • Depriving them of access to medical care when needed.
  • Tricking residents into signing over power of attorney.
  • Exploiting an elderly person’s generosity.

how to prevent nursing home abuse

Physical neglect is another type of nursing home abuse that occurs when staff members fail to provide adequate nutrition for residents in their care, as well as failing to give proper medication dosages at appropriate times throughout each day.

Other forms include sexual assault and emotional/mental harm caused by verbal threats from staff members toward residents.

Causes and Risk Factors of Nursing Home Abuse

Nursing home abuse is a serious issue affecting thousands of individuals yearly. While it can happen anywhere, certain factors increase your risk for nursing home abuse. These include:

  • Being over 65 years old
  • Having a mental illness or cognitive impairment
  • Having been a victim of abuse previously

If your loved one has any of these risk factors, and you are considering placing them in an assisted living facility or nursing home, it’s important to be aware of the signs of potential abuse so that you can take action if needed.

Other risk factors for abuse involve how the nursing home is run. For example, nurses who are underpaid and overworked are more prone to mistakes. If there aren’t enough workers, staff may struggle to keep track of everything. The nursing home also needs to have firm requirements for training and education, as well as accountability and documentation.

What to Do If You Suspect Nursing Home Abuse

If you suspect nursing home abuse, there are many steps you can take to stop it.

First, report the suspected abuse to the nursing home’s administrator or director. If they do not take action, contact the Illinois Department on Aging and Adult Protective Services to file complaints. Next, contact law enforcement officials who will investigate your claim further.

Finally, if necessary, seek legal action against those responsible for your loved one’s injuries or death by filing suit against them in civil court. Contact a reputable Chicago nursing home abuse lawyer to seek justice for your loved one and compensation to pay for the additional care they need.

Preventing Nursing Home Abuse

While you cannot predict the future to see if the nursing home of your choice will abuse your loved one, you can take a few steps to reduce the risk.

1. Choose the right nursing home

Nursing homes are required to post their inspection reports on their websites. These reports can help determine whether a facility is safe for your loved one. Also, check reviews, and ask people you know if they have experience with certain facilities. Then, tour the facilities themselves to get a feel for their atmosphere and amenities. If you’re still unsure whether a facility is right for your loved one, it may be best to look elsewhere until you feel confident that their care needs are met by staff members who genuinely care about them.

importance of nursing assistants

2. Make a plan

Sit down with your loved one or, if they are unable, your family to discuss plans for health crises and critical care. If something happens, you’ll be prepared to tell the nursing home how to proceed. Consider things like what treatments your loved one may go through and whether or not to sign a Do Not Resuscitate. Also decide who will be power of attorney, and get the paperwork settled so staff can’t exploit your loved one.

3. Befriend and advocate for the staff

These people are in charge of your loved one’s care. Nursing homes employ nurses and nursing assistants, managerial staff, front-end staff, and more. Get to know them, and make sure their job is taking care of them in turn. You are in a position of power as a paying client to bring up any issues or suspicions that the nurses are afraid to— just don’t name names. By helping improve their workspace, you can help ensure better care for all residents.

4. Monitor care at all times

If your loved one has dementia or another condition requiring regular monitoring and assistance from staff members, ensure they get it when you’re not there— and even when you are! If something seems off about what’s happening with them during the day, speak up immediately to address any issues before they become bigger problems later down the road.

The Role of IP Law in Spearheading Green Technologies

You do not have to be a scientist to know the world is in an environmental crisis. Plastic waste is piling up virtually everywhere, and pollution is at an all-time high.

While many countries are doing their part to reduce their carbon footprint, it takes more than just regulations to create real change in this area.

Thankfully, environmentally conscious innovators are developing technologies that can help reverse or at least slow down the environmental crisis. Like other innovations, the greatest challenge to these innovators is safeguarding their innovations, and that’s where IP laws come in.

benefits of going off-grid

What are Green Technologies?

Green technologies, also known as environmental technologies, refer to practices and products that reduce energy consumption while helping to protect the environment.

They can include renewable energy sources such as solar, wind, geothermal, and hydropower, as well as improved efficiency in heating and cooling systems and use of new materials that are more recyclable than traditional ones.

These technologies are key to achieving sustainability – a state where human activity does not exceed our planet’s ability to support us.

IP Laws and Their Role in Spearheading Technologies

IP is the acronym for Intellectual Property, which refers to a person’s creative work or invention. IP laws are designed to protect the rights of these inventions to ensure creatives and innovators benefit from their creations.

Categories of intellectual property include trade secrets, trademarks, copyrights, and patents, with trademarks and patents being the most applicable IP laws in the green technology industry.

How Trademarks Work for Green Technologies

Trademarks are symbols, names, slogans, marks, or sounds used to identify the goods and services of a specific company or individual. When used properly, they become synonymous with a specific product.

By obtaining a trademark, inventors get exclusive rights to use the identifier in connection with their invention or products and prevent others from using it without authorization. This means their customers will easily pick their products from the crowded market, which can help improve profits.

Trademark protections in Canada run for renewable terms of ten years. In other words, an innovator can secure their trademark for life as long as they pay service fees after every ten years.

Role of Patents in Spearheading Green Technology

If you are involved with developing technologies, you will need more than trademarks to protect your business because trademarks are limited to identifiers. For example, if you want to protect specific inventions or product designs, you may want to consider getting patent protections.

Finding a green provider for specialty chemicals

A patent is a form of intellectual property protection that grants the holder exclusive rights over their invention. Two main types of patents apply to green technology innovations; utility and design patents, also known as industrial design rights in the Canadian context.

Utility patents protect inventions that are novel, useful, and non-obvious. These patents can apply to products such as renewable energy sources, efficient heating and cooling systems, or new materials that are more recyclable than traditional ones.

Design patents protect the non-functional aspects of a product, such as its aesthetics, shape, texture, or color. The product doesn’t have to be novel, but the design has to, and it can’t have anything to do with the function of the product.

Countries have different approaches to patent law, but the core principles of securing a patent remain relatively the same. For example, most countries have a 20-year protection period for utility patents and 15 years for design patents.

Where to Register Your IPs

Country laws designate the bodies through which its inventors and creators can register their IPs. The law places the responsibility for IP registrations in Canada on the Canadian Intellectual Property Office (CIPO).

Registration of IPs under Canadian laws limits IP rights protection to Canada, meaning the rights are not enforceable beyond Canadian territory. If you want to have a broader scope of protection, you may want to register your IPs with the World Intellectual Property Organization, which offers protection on a global scale.

How to Protect Transgender Employees in the Workplace

When you think about workplace safety, what comes to mind? Perhaps it’s being issued protective equipment to reduce injury, processes to report employer misconduct, or a clear and concise evacuation plan in the event of a fire or other emergency.

For many of us, feeling safe at work is something we’ve become accustomed to and may take for granted. But for others, especially members of minority groups and the LGBTQ community, workplace safety can feel like an afterthought.

This is certainly true for transgender individuals. Transgender – or trans – is the term used for people whose gender identity is different from the sex assigned to them at birth. Some trans people identify as trans men or trans women; others describe themselves using descriptive terms including non-binary, genderqueer, gender non-conforming, agender, or bigender. One in three Americans know someone who is transgender – these are our friends and family members, our neighbors, our peers, and our colleagues.

transgender employees

Challenges Facing The Transgender Community

The trans community faces tremendous stigma in society, and discrimination against transgender people is all too common in school settings and the workplace. The Center for America Progress notes that “90 percent of transgender workers report some form of harassment or mistreatment on the job” due to their gender identity. This includes being overlooked or fired from a job, having received a negative performance review or been denied a promotion, or verbally or physically abused.

Employers should familiarize themselves with the challenges facing their trans employees. Doing so can help ensure employers are in compliance with federal, state, and local laws established to help protect the trans community, but also with the goal of creating a healthy workplace environment for all.

1. Gender Dysphoria

Some trans people might experience something called gender dysphoria. Gender dysphoria refers to the discomfort and distress felt among individuals whose gender identity differs from their sex assigned at birth. This condition can become debilitating and interfere with day-to-day activities. Mind Diagnostics offers a confidential test that may be helpful when looking to determine if you’re experiencing gender dysphoria. Based on the results, you can work with your doctor to help manage your feelings.

2. Violence

The rate of discrimination against trans people at the workplace is staggering, and stigma and harassment are also rampant in society. In some cases, harassment can become violent and even life-threatening. According to Human Rights Campaign, the rate of violence perpetrated against trans people is more severe than that against the average person. The majority of transgender people have experienced violence at the hands of an intimate partner, and 47% have been sexually assaulted. Nearly 30 trans and gender non-conforming people were violently killed in 2020.

3. Lack of Healthcare Coverage

The U.S. healthcare system falls short when it comes to serving the trans community. Human Rights Campaign Foundation data shows 22% of trans people and 32% of trans people of color live without health insurance and 29% have been refused healthcare because of their gender identity.

4. Poverty

Studies show that 29% of trans adults live in poverty, and this figure increases for trans people in the Black, Latinx, Alaska Native, Asian, Native Americans, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander communities.

Workplace Discrimination Against Transgender People Is Illegal

The Supreme Court ruled in 2020 that federal law prohibits anti-transgender discrimination in the workplace (Bostock v. Clayton County). Yet, more work is needed to ensure all employees are properly protected.

The National Center for Transgender Equality offers helpful information about transgender rights and the avenues transgender individuals can pursue should they be discriminated against at work. In summary:

  • Federal law makes it illegal to fire, refuse to hire, harass, or otherwise discriminate due to gender identity, gender transition, sex assigned at birth, or transgender status.
  • Trans people have a right not to be fired or refused a job or promotion because they are transgender.
  • Severe or widespread sex-based harassment is unlawful when an employer does not take steps to stop it. Harassment may include jokes or derogatory comments, intentional misuse of names or pronouns, and invasive or disrespectful personal questions.
  • Trans people have the right to safe and adequate access to restrooms and other facilities consistent with their gender identity.
  • Employers cannot prohibit or force a trans person from disclosing their transgender status or gender identity, nor can they disclose someone’s transgender status without consent.