Discrimination and harassment
Discrimination, harassment, bullying, ostracisation, victimisation. There are many terms included in this sensitive area that pertain to behaviour that is never acceptable at KI.
It goes against KI’s vision that everyone shall be treated with respect. This document primarily uses the terms discrimination, harassment and victimisation. These are the terms used in the Discrimination Act and regulations from the Swedish Work Environment Authority.
KI has compiled guidelines, information and guidance for the purposes of preventing and remedying the discrimination, harassment and victimisation of employees. The aim is to explain various terms, provide examples, disseminate information about who is responsible and about legislation and other directives, as well as demonstrating a model for the investigation of individual cases.
In brief, discrimination can be described as discriminating against or disfavouring someone. This means that someone is treated worse than another person in a similar situation. If the discrimination is connected to the person’s gender, transgender identity or expression, sexual orientation, ethnicity, age, religion or other faith or belief system or disability, the Discrimination Act may be applicable.
Beyond these grounds, there is no discrimination in the legal sense, even though the detrimental treatment may constitute a violation of other legislation, e.g. the provisions concerning victimisation in work environment legislation.
The Discrimination Act prohibits discrimination and harassment associated with gender, transgender identity or expression, ethnicity, religion or other faith or belief system, disability, sexual orientation or age. KI has also compiled its own rules that aim to clarify matters of responsibility as well as what action is to be taken in cases of discrimination and harassment that fall within the scope of the Discrimination Act.
Harassment can in short be described as verbal or non-verbal treatment that is unwanted and violates someone's dignity and that the person who treats them like that is aware of this due to the person in question having told them the treatment is unwanted. It is the person subjected to harassment or sexual harassment that decides what is unwanted and what is offensive. This means that the same behaviour can be perceived differently by different people. In serious and clear-cut cases where it is obvious that the person who is harassing should have understood that they are subjecting someone to unwanted behaviour, no clarification is needed for it to be deemed harassment or sexual harassment.
Harassment in the form of behaviour that violates someone’s dignity and that is linked to one of the grounds for discrimination (gender, transgender identity or expression, ethnicity, religion or other faith or belief system, disability, sexual orientation or age) is encompassed by the Discrimination Act.
Sexual harassment is, according to the Discrimination Act, actions that violate someone’s dignity and is of a sexual nature. Both women and men can be subjected to sexual harassment and both women and men can subject others to sexual harassment. However, it is more common for men to subjects women to harassment.
Some examples of sexual harassment:
- Groping or other unwelcome touching of a sexual nature
- Unwelcome sexual insinuations, comments or suggestions
- Sexual jokes
- Pornographic images or texts
In brief, victimisation in the workplace can be described as recurring reprehensible or negative acts targeted at individual employees in an offensive manner and which can lead to them being left outside of the workplace community.
Those grounds for discrimination that are not defined in law under the Discrimination Act may fall under the term victimisation in accordance with the Swedish Work Environment Authority's regulations on victimisation in working life. You can find further information on the Swedish Work Environment Authority's website.
Swedish Work Environment Authority's regulations on victimisation
Those grounds for discrimination that are not defined in law under the Discrimination Act may fall under the term victimisation in accordance with the Discrimination Act and the Swedish Work Environment Authority's regulations on victimisation in working life.
If KI and its employer representatives become aware of discrimination, harassment or victimisation, they have a statutory responsibility to investigate and, in applicable cases, take action that will lead to this behaviour ceasing.
If you feel you are being subjected to discrimination, harassment or victimisation, you should contact in the first instance a manager in your vicinity or HR in your department. The guidelines contain further information about various contact routes.
More information for logged in staff
There is more information for those of you working in the following groups
- C4.Department of Neuroscience
- K1.Department of Molecular Medicine and Surgery
- K8.Department of Clinical Neuroscience