How to Deal With Sexual Harassment in the Workplace

Women's Business Club

Sexual harassment in workplaces is quite common, and sometimes it isn’t only women that are victims or perpetrators. Your coworker, boss, or even a customer can be potentially guilty of sexual harassment if it meets certain circumstances. Every employer is responsible for preventing sexual harassment in their workplace. In some situations, it might threaten your career or job. Below are some ways you can deal with it:

Caution your Harasser

Try your best to tell the harasser that their behavior is offensive and unwelcome. This approach is advised in cases that are not predatory. In cases where the harassment continues, you can report the unwelcome conduct to your employer or the authority while stating that you have made it clear that such behavior was unpleasant to you.

Keep a Record 

To deal with sexual harassment at your workplace, keeping a record can be helpful. However, when an incident is too general, there might be leeway. Before you decide to make a sexual harassment complaint, it will be helpful if you have objective and accurate records of specific comments, behaviors, dates, or witnesses. Keeping a record also ensures detailed examples are presented when you report to either the Equal Opportunity Employment Commission (EEOC) or your employer. You can record the details on your home computer or a bound book and keep it outside your office. 

Report to Your Company 

Most companies have rules guiding employees on the process of reporting sexual harassment. When you are harassed by a colleague or customer, report it to your immediate supervisor or human resource with accurate details. 

Speak to Your Union

You can contact and speak to your union representative about the issue if you don’t feel comfortable talking to the company. The representative will act as an intermediary between you and your company to help the reporting process. However, if the harasser is also a member, note that the union is also there to advocate for them.

Consult an Attorney 

Having a lawyer when reporting sexual harassment to the Equal Opportunity Employment Commission (EEOC) or your employer is not always necessary. However, in case of confusion, if you are not clear on whether a behavior constitutes sexual harassment, or if you worry that your employer or company won’t respond to your report, then you should seek legal advice.

File a Police Report 

When you receive sexual harassment at or outside your workplace, your best option is to go directly to the police. However, you should only do this if you are not comfortable or mentally prepared.

Make Changes 

Sometimes dealing with sexual harassment at the workplace is often met with fast actions with little or no consequences for the perpetrators. You might decide not to report your case of sexual harassment. However, it would be best if you did not endure it. Instead, you could look for new opportunities without sexual harassment hovering over your everyday life.

Sometimes you might be afraid or embarrassed to speak up when sexually harassed. However, there are various ways to deal with sexual harassment in your workplace with the law by your side.

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