“Infringement of individuals” (infringement of privacy) is one of the representative power harassment. Examples include how they use their paid leave, meddling in their private relationships, and insisting on connecting on social media. Harassment for infringement of an individual is particularly difficult to understand, and it is also characteristic that harassment is often carried out without being noticed. Using three examples, we will explain in an easy-to-understand manner the characteristics of “infringement of an individual” type of power harassment and how to deal with it.
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What is Power Harassment?
Speaking of “power harassment”, many people think of “physical violence” that harms the body, and “mental violence” that harms reputation or hurts reputation. However, among the acts that are “somewhat unpleasant” or “always felt burdensome”, there may be acts that fall under “power harassment.”
In the first place, there are the following six types of acts equivalent to “power harassment”.
(1) Physical attack (assault/injury)
(2) Mental attack (threat/defamation/insult/horrible abusive language)
(3) Separation from human relationships (isolation/exclusion/ignorance)
(5) Insufficient demands ( forcing work to do things that are clearly unnecessary or impossible to perform, obstructing work)
(6) Personal infringement (excessive intrusion into private affairs )
Among these, 6 “Individual infringement” (infringement of privacy) is particularly difficult to understand, and it can be unknowingly I feel that there are many examples of people becoming perpetrators and victims in the past.
Read Also: What is the definition of power harassment?
What constitutes an “infringement of an individual”? Introducing three cases of power harassment
“Infringement of an individual” is excessive interference with the privacy of others. For example, if your boss interferes with your private matters or forces you to have a private relationship, it may constitute an “infringement of your individuality.” For example, do you have the following concerns?
■ Power harassment example 1 : interfering with how to use paid leave and rejecting the application depending on
the reason. When I answered, “I’m going on a trip with a friend,” I was asked persistently, “Why are you traveling on a weekday?” and “What kind of person is that friend?” I cannot accept it.”
■ Power harassment example 2: Prying into private relationships/friendships
At a year-end party, you are asked about your partner, and you are asked persistently, “How long have you been dating?” was
■ Power harassment example 3, which is an infringement of an individual: My boss often checked personal SNS and Twitter that came in contact with me by browsing personal SNS, etc., and
I was often pointed out about what I wrote there. In addition, workplace staff are encouraged to send “friend requests” to each other on SNS.
If you feel uncomfortable when someone at work does something like the above, it may be power harassment called “infringement of an individual.” Next, I will tell you how to prevent the occurrence of power harassment in the above three cases and what to do when it occurs.
Example 1: If someone asks you how you spend your vacation, you are not obliged to answer.
When I applied for paid leave, I was asked why, but if I didn’t want to answer, I didn’t have to.In “Example 1”, you are asked the reason for applying for paid leave, but taking paid leave is a worker’s right recognized by the Labor Standards Act, so you do not have to tell the reason for taking it. Also, you don’t have to tell them how you spend your vacation if you don’t want to.
Employers also cannot refuse applications based on the reason for taking paid leave (however, if normal business operations are hindered, such as during busy periods or when multiple people take leave on the same day, may give paid leave at other times).
Therefore, if you are persistently asked why you are applying for paid leave, it is okay to vaguely say, “I have something to do.” If you are still asked for a detailed explanation, it is possible that your boss does not understand the law, so why not explain the content of Article 39 of the Labor Standards Act and have a discussion?
Example 2: You are not obliged to answer even about private friendships
In “Example 2”, a junior is in trouble because a senior asks about personal friendships. At work, you don’t have to talk about personal relationships unless you want to.
Of course, chatting on personal topics is also important to building trust. However, this is based on the assumption that the person wants to tell the person about themselves, and should not be compelled to answer.
Also, it would be very unpleasant to be prying into individual friendships out of curiosity in the first place. If you are scrutinized and criticized persistently, why don’t you show that you feel that it is an “infringement of the individual” by saying “It’s a private matter”?
Example 3: “Social harassment” through SNS and blogs
Many people find it a burden to connect with people at work on the InternetIn “Example 3”, people at work often read my personal SNS and blogs, and I feel uncomfortable because I am encouraged to connect with them on my personal SNS. SNS and blogs are personal information published on the Internet, while Twitter and Instagram allow anyone to access personal information by searching.
These are information that is made public in private in the first place, and some people may feel uncomfortable if that information is viewed by people at work and asked to make friends on the Internet.
Of course, if the person genuinely welcomes connecting with people at work on SNS, the story is different. However, even if you express your welcome, you may feel that you have no choice but to say it because it is difficult to say no.
Therefore, it is better to be aware in advance that if you easily access the SNS of people in the workplace and try to connect with them, it may be perceived as “infringement of an individual.”
Mutual understanding of “infringement of individuals” type of power harassment is the first step to countermeasures
Power harassment of “infringement of an individual” is a harassment act that is difficult to understand at first glance. In many cases, the perpetrators are completely unaware that their actions are perceived as nuisance. Therefore, it is very important to discuss what constitutes “infringement of an individual” in the workplace and to have a common understanding.
If you find it difficult to express your feelings of burden, it would be a good idea to first consult with a harassment counselor or human resources representative at your workplace. If you don’t have anyone at work you can talk to, it might be a good idea to go to a public or private power harassment consultation desk.