Corporate Stalking—How to Deal With a Stalker at Work?
Corporate harassment is rarely reported. Why? According to the Study of Harassment in the Workplace conducted by The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the main reason for not reporting was fear of retaliation. Another research called Hiscox Workplace Harassment Study found that 53% of employees who experienced stalking were so afraid of a hostile work environment that they didn’t report the behavior.
Signs of Stalking in the Workplace
Corporate stalking can take on many forms. One Reddit user's boss had him install hidden microphones in the office. The boss wanted to listen to his employees at all times without them knowing.
Stalking doesn't have to come from the supervisor. An assistant manager experienced stalking from a colleague. At first, he started making rude remarks, which constitutes verbal harassment in the workplace, but then it escalated into physical actions.
Some of the common signs of stalking in the workplace are:
- Walking by your desk or showing up at your office without reason
- Following you outside of work
- Keeping tabs of your online activity
- Leaving unwanted gifts
- Coming into your office or sitting at your desk when you are not there
- Vandalizing your property
- Cyberstalking—sending you harassing emails, texts, or direct messages on social media
- Making harassing phone calls repeatedly
- Installing hidden microphones and cameras
- Creating a hostile work environment by openly making you feel uncomfortable and unable to do your job
- Sexual harassment at work, which can include sending you letters of sexual nature, making explicit comments, making unwanted sexual advances, and asking for sexual favors (which is a form of quid pro quo harassment)
Workplace stalking can happen between anyone within the company, and it can even include non-employees.
Groups of people that can be involved in corporate stalking are:
- Co-worker and co-worker
- Supervisor and subordinate
- Client or customer and an employee
- Non-employee and employees
Alternative Methods to Stop Workplace Stalking
Stalking in the workplace is a form of harassment. It is illegal, and you don't have to put up with it. You might feel like your only choices are either to quit or to tolerate the stalking, but this is not true.
If you are being stalked at work, here are some things you can do to stop a stalker:
- Confront the stalker
- Take pictures, screenshots, and notes
- Follow complaint procedure of your company
- Report the stalking to your boss or HR department
- File an administrative charge with the EEOC
- File a lawsuit
Confront the Stalker
Express your discomfort with their behavior. Make sure they understand you don't approve of their actions.
You can do this verbally or in writing. The best way to make your attitude towards their actions clear in writing is to send them a cease and desist letter.
Take Pictures, Screenshots, and Notes
If the stalking is happening online, take screenshots of every direct message, email, or social media comment. It would be good to have a hard copy of all of these. Print them out and keep them somewhere safe.
If someone is stalking you in person, keep a written record of all incidents. The notes should be as detailed as possible and include: the details of what happened, date, time, and the names of the people that have participated.
Follow Complaint Procedure of Your Company
Most companies have harassment and stalking policies set in place. If your organization has one, follow its guidelines to report the harassment internally.
Report the Stalking at Work to Your Boss or HR Department
If your company doesn't have any policies on harassment, you will have to do this yourself. Talk to your boss, a supervisor, or a representative of the HR department. It is essential to have all the evidence prepared at this point.
File an Administrative Charge With the EEOC
If your employer doesn't react to your claim, your next step is to file a charge with the EEOC. This is a mandatory legal step before filing a lawsuit.
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is a federal agency that regulates civil rights laws against workplace discrimination.
After the process, which can last for months, the EEOC might issue you a right to sue letter. You can use this letter to file a lawsuit against your employer for not protecting you against workplace harassment.
Be aware of the strict deadlines EEOC has for filing a claim. There are also time limits for filing a lawsuit once you get a right to sue letter.
Time Limits for Filing a Charge
Time Limits for Filing a Lawsuit
|You need to file a charge within:
||Once you receive a right to sue letter, you need to file a lawsuit within 90 days.|
File a Lawsuit
Once you get your right to sue letter, you can file a lawsuit with federal court. Federal court trials can last for years and turn out to be pretty expensive.
You will also need to prove these three points:
- You did not initiate or welcome the stalking—you can use the cease and desist letter to prove that you confronted the harasser
- You did find the behavior offensive—stalking was not a joke and was not funny to you
- You were affected negatively by the harassment—there are consequences to your work performance
There is also an option to file a civil complaint. This method can be even more complicated and time-consuming since civil court cases can take years to reach a conclusion. If it works in your favor, you can get compensation or a restraining order.
DoNotPay Will Help You Deal With Stalking in the Workplace
You have a right to feel safe at your job. Workplace harassment and stalking are against the law, and you can use DoNotPay to stop it from happening.
This app is the first virtual lawyer in the world and is here to help you make a clear statement that you want your stalker to stop.
Relationship Protection option can assist you with getting rid of the person stalking you.
Here is how to do it:
- Access DoNotPay in your web browser
- Click on the Relationship Protection feature
- Begin chatting with our chatbot and choose Safety and Stalking
- Type in the name of the stalker
- Wait for the app to create a cease and desist letter
A cease and desist letter is a document you can send to the stalker to demand them to stop their inappropriate behavior immediately. You can also use this document if you decide to go to court with your claim.
DoNotPay Is Here to Help You Solve Different Everyday Problems
You don't have to waste time doing research and preparing all of the paperwork by yourself. Use DoNotPay as a shortcut through the administrative mess. Open DoNotPay in your web browser and check all the features DoNotPay has to offer.
The app can assist you with any of these tasks:
- Obtaining refunds from airlines for canceled or delayed flights
- Fighting parking tickets
- Dealing with credit card issues
- Canceling subscriptions or memberships
- Disputing traffic tickets
- Avoiding the phone queue when calling customer service
- Disputing speeding tickets
- Getting a DMV appointment
- Getting back at robocalls
- Filing a suit in small claim court
- Handling bills that are difficult to pay
- Protecting yourself from stalking and harassment