You need to react swiftly to harassment in the workplace or study environment. To do so:
- Take the problem seriously – if the person who is being harassed comes to talk to you, listen to them carefully, attentively and respectfully;
- Warn your employee that you are obliged to report situations that could be classed as harassment to the Rectorate. Tell them which people and bodies might be able to offer them support;
- Ask factual questions, record the information and ask the person concerned to check it is correct;
- If necessary, ask for support and advice from your line manager, the Human Resources Department and/or other relevant bodies as soon as possible;
- Tell the person who has complained to you what is being done to follow up their case.
Do not trivialise the situation: remember that is it how the victim feels that needs to be taken into consideration, not the intention of the alleged perpetrator.
Maintain a strictly neutral stance and respect the principle of presumption of innocence: the alleged perpetrator has the right to be heard, so don’t take sides.
Managers are obliged to report any cases of harassment brought to their attention.
In addition, people with a management role at UNIL must:
- Adopt appropriate behaviour towards their students, subordinates or colleagues;
- Ensure that their students, subordinates and colleagues behave appropriately and respectfully towards each other;
- Communicate to their students and employees the prevention measures and intervention procedures established at UNIL to prevent conflicts, psychological or sexual harassment;
- Act immediately to stop any inappropriate behaviour in a working or study relationship;
- Approach the relevant bodies appointed by the Rectorate to offer assistance to any member of the university community who requests support;
- Protect the people concerned in the case of complaints and investigations;
- In the case of cyber-bullying, report problematic messages exchanged on a social network between members of the university community to their line manager.
Has someone challenged you for not respecting their personal boundaries and/or are you unsure if your behaviour was appropriate?
Harassment has serious consequences for all the parties involved. Talk about it with people you trust or the person directly involved and/or contact the support bodies that specialise in this area. If necessary, take active steps to modify your behaviour.