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Harassment can be presented in blatant gender based violence, or sexual harassment or workplace bulling. Sometimes it takes the form of quid pro quo harassment or power harassment, or mental harassment. Whichever form it takes, workplace harassment is a fact, and there are harassment laws to protect you. 

Types of harassment often seen at work:

Sexual harassment in the workplace is not necessarily physical harassment, such as a person touch in you inappropriate places – it extends to any unwelcome and unwanted sexual remarks; and/or unwanted physical advances in a workplace situation. That means it can also be verbal sexual harassment, extending to pornography and the telling / sending of sexually explicit/oriented pictures and writings. Sexual orientation harassment (most commonly gay harassment or LGBTQ harassment) are also considered sexual harassment at the workplace. 

Harassment can occur in: verbal harassment, physical harassment, power harassment, mental harassment, the list is almost endless. As are euphemisms for it, such as chauvinistic behaviour, sexism and favouritism/partnership in the workplace (such as cat calling or stereotyping) 

Harassment is also not just limited to a single type of harassment. Most often the harasser is in a position of power and will abuse employees in multiple ways, and just for power kicks.  This creates a hostile and intolerable work environment and conditions for the person being harassed.

Discrimination in the workplace can also be considered a form of harassment, and is a very serious matter. Racial discrimination, sexual bigotry, gender bias, intolerance, unfairness, and inequity often bridge the gap spanning both Labour and Criminal matters. 

The underlying common threat is that you, or your colleagues are being unfairly treated at work, by an individual or a group of individuals.  

Below we discus reporting harassment and reporting discrimination: 

what are your rights when being victimized in the workplace? 

What is the process to report inappropriate conduct?

Workplace harassment laws in South Africa

The legislation that gives you protection from domestic violence

Workplace Harassment

How to stop harassment in the workplace

Unfair Labour Practice

Opening up a grievance

Frequently Asked Questions


  1. If you can, try to record the harassment taking place. – Please speak to your lawyer about recording people/events as there are new legislation to follow when doing so.
  2. Log a grievance with HR against person making the harassment. After logging of grievance with HR, try to get some proof of the email sent to HR and a grievance form completed, if any.  
  3. Cooperate in the investigation of your complaint. Take advantage of any preventive or corrective opportunities given by the company.
  1. Tell your harasser that you do not feel safe or comfortable and that they need to STOP! Try your best to make it clear to the harasser that this behavior is unwanted and unwelcome.
  2. Try to email or obtain a written proof stating this harassment is unwanted
Section 60 of the EEA states that if an employer had been informed of the harassment in the workplace but failed to take the necessary corrective steps (especially in cases where an employee is subject to sexual harassment at the workplace), will be held liable.
In terms of any form of harassment in the workplace, South Africa constitutionally guaranteed rights to equality (section 9), dignity (section 10) and fair labour practices (section 23) are given effect to by the Employment Equity Act, the Protection from Harassment Act, the Labour Relations Act (LRA) and the Code of Good Practice on the Handling of Sexual Harassment Cases in the Workplace ( 2005 Code).
Legal Leaders has over 8 years’ experience and are specialized in these cases. We understand the sensitive nature of these cases, and your best interest is of most importance to us.

Accused of Harassments? 

What is Sexual Harassment’s?

Workplace Harassment 

Understanding Sexual Harassments


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