Workplace harassment is one of the trickiest cases a paralegal – or even a lawyer – can handle, as there are many gray areas in such cases. The most common problem is that victims often don’t know that they’re already being harassed and assume that the behavior is part of the office culture. Even if they do recognize the red flags, chances are good that they won’t report anyone in fear of stigmatization or job loss.
Balancing Knowledge and Emotion
Future paralegals need to learn that the courage it takes for a person just to report someone is significant, and they need all the support they can get. Paralegals will need preparation to handle the emotions that such victim may carry. These feelings may include the trauma of the harassment itself, the frustration at any doubt of the claim, not to mention the pressure resulting from legal action.
For a paralegal, or any legal professional, to remain effective in emotional cases is to have the ability to balance technical knowledge of the law and human empathy. A client will never respect the advice of a paralegal who doesn’t look like they know what they’re doing. Likewise, a client won’t feel comfortable with a counsel that doesn’t seem to care about their struggle.
The Real Solution to Harassment
Both the victims and the perpetrators of harassment aren’t gender specific; this is a problem that men and women suffer through and perpetuate. The only way such behavior can change is if the perpetrators are taken to task for their actions. A successful injury claim of this nature will send out a message that aggressive behavior in the office – or any place for that matter – is unacceptable.
The only way for that to happen is if more people know how to handle such cases properly and send the right message. You can become one of those people with the right training. Contact us today, and ask us about our courses in legal ethics and court procedure, so you can get a better grasp on how to effectively help victims of harassment as well.