Harassment by a Former Employer


Harassment or stalking perpetrated by a former employer can manifest due to a myriad of personal or professional motivations. Such conduct is both regrettable and intolerable. If you are experiencing this, I want to emphatically state that you should take proactive measures to safeguard yourself, as these situations can often escalate swiftly.

The root causes of such behavior are diverse. Personal grievances, lingering grudges, or perceived conflicts may fuel the employer’s actions, stemming from disagreements, perceived slights, or personal issues unrelated to the workplace. Retaliation against a former employee for whistleblowing, filing complaints, or pursuing legal action against the company is common. In certain instances, employers may exhibit control issues, seeking to assert power or influence over ex-employees, even post-employment.

Regrettably, mental health factors may contribute to this behavior as well. Jealousy or envy might be catalysts, and in extreme cases, a former employer may develop an unhealthy obsession with the ex-employee, resulting in inappropriate and intrusive actions. Additionally, some individuals simply struggle to cope with the termination of a professional relationship, resorting to inappropriate and harmful behavior.

Understanding the intricate nature of these motivations is crucial, but so is understanding the danger. Nevertheless, it is paramount to underscore that harassment and stalking are unequivocally unacceptable. In many instances, such behavior warrants legal recourse to ensure personal protection and address the situation at hand. If you find yourself subject to such behavior, it is essential to take the necessary steps to prioritize your safety and well-being, as these situations may persist unless actively addressed. Here are proactive measures you can consider to protect yourself:

Document the Incidents: Maintain a detailed record of all incidents, including dates, times, locations, and individuals involved. This documentation may serve as crucial evidence if legal action becomes necessary.

Restraining Orders: Explore obtaining a restraining order if the harassment persists, providing a legal barrier to prevent further contact.

Inform Authorities: Report the harassment to law enforcement authorities, providing them with documented evidence to support your case.

Consult Legal Counsel: Seek advice from a legal professional to understand your rights and explore potential legal actions against the harasser.

Secure Your Online Presence: If the harassment extends to online platforms, improve your digital security, such as updating passwords and adjusting privacy settings. You can (and should) also block the harasser where possible.

Be Mindful of Your Emails and Texts: If you are exchanging emails or texts, keep them as professional as possible and try to limit or avoid doing so moving forward. If those exchanges have already occurred, save any relevant correspondences so they can be referenced by legal and law enforcement authorities.

Notify Your Network: This step is often overlooked. However, it is an excellent idea to inform friends, family, and colleagues about the situation to ensure others know the circumstances. Getting others involved can sometimes temper the harassment or end it altogether. Moreover, doing so will help you build your support network.

Remember, this type of harassment is significantly more than an inconvenience or annoyance. Many jurisdictions have specific laws addressing such harassment, which usually include repeated, unwanted communications or actions that cause emotional distress or fear. Stalking is often considered a criminal offense as well because it, too, can instill fear or distress. Harassment or stalking conducted through digital means, such as emails, social media, or other online platforms, may also be subject to criminal laws. There are plenty of options to explore!

The point is that these incidents are much more than annoying. They can be dangerous and lead to all sorts of bad things. Prioritizing your safety and well-being is paramount, and seeking professional assistance is a proactive step toward addressing and resolving such distressing situations.

Additional Resources:

Be sure to check out my article titled Situational Awareness – Tips To Help Maximize Safety.