Coworker Is Stalking You? Here’s What To Do

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If you believe you are being stalked at work, you are not alone. In 2021, the website of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimated that one in six women and one in seventeen men had been victims of stalking. However, the situation becomes more complex when your stalker is a coworker. Knowing your legal rights will help you stop workplace stalking without jeopardizing your job if a coworker denies misconduct.

Is It Stalking?

It might be hard to tell the difference between a coworker who makes you uncomfortable and a stalker. But, your superiors will value this distinction. Stalking is a repetitive harassment or menacing behavior. It can be either physically or through communications. For example through phone calls, emails, or other means that violate your personal space.

These types of behaviors can be difficult to interpret in the workplace. Your colleagues frequently have valid reasons to contact you. Keep a log of suspicious behaviors (including dates and times), along with copies of emails and recordings of messages. If possible, ask a trusted colleague, HR manager, or your supervisor to evaluate these with you for potential red flags.

ALSO READ: How to Report Workplace Sexual Harassment

Workplace Policies on Workplace Stalking

Hopefully, your place of employment has policies that define stalking behaviors and prohibit employees from engaging in them. The best method to protect your job and address the issue is to report a coworker’s stalking as a violation of your workplace’s policies. Because they often cover stalking, workplace violence, harassment, and conduct policies are good places to start. List the behaviors demonstrated by your stalker, as well as the applicable policies that these behaviors violate, and discuss your options with your supervisor or HR manager.

Lack of Policy Poses a Difficulty

Even if your workplace does not have a policy prohibiting surveillance, you can still report it to your supervisor, another manager, or HR. Describe the occurrence in detail. For instance, you might say:

“A coworker followed me home last Friday and drove by my house several times over the weekend while staring. This occurred after I declined a date.” 

If other colleagues witnessed or affected by incidents, now is the time to solicit their assistance. Again, bring as much documentation of the surveillance incidents as possible, such as emails, phone messages, or other evidence, and ask what you can do to resolve the issue.

Engaging with Law Enforcement

If a coworker is harassing you outside of work, trespassing on your property, or making violent threats, it is best to let the police manage the situation rather than relying solely on your employer.

Malaysia’s Anti Stalking Law suggests that you can now seek assistance or resolution from the police. You can obtain a Protection Order for Stalking, which prohibits the perpetrator from following you or approaching you in the future.

According to the amended Penal Code and Criminal Procedure Code, stalkers can be investigated, accused in court, and sentenced to up to 3 years in prison.

You obtain copies of police reports and no-contact orders to provide to your employer. You may want to discuss working in a different department while an internal investigation is ongoing.

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Anisa is a writer who focuses on career and lifestyle topics in an effort to motivate both job searchers and employers towards greater fulfillment in their professional lives.

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