Guidelines for Assessing Workplace Conduct

Measurement Tool R-A-T-E

This mnemonic illustrates a simple measurement tool to determine whether behaviour towards others could be classified as harassment.

Respect - Is this behaviour respectful? Does this behaviour honour the dignity and worth of the person?  Does the behavior recognize and appreciate differences – culture, viewpoint, age, status, etc – and thus give room for the person to be themselves?

Appropriate – Is the behavior appropriate to the situation and to the relationship between the individuals?

Trust – Many relationships are “relationships of trust,” for instance the relationship between a professor and a student or between an employee and a supervisor.  Is the behavior a violation of this trust?

Equal – What is the power balance in the relationship? Are the individuals equals? Is the behaviour exploiting a difference in power? Would an objection to the behavior threaten the well-being of the person to whom the behavior is directed?