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Actions you can take to report sexual harassment

Unfortunately, sexual harassment is all too common in the workplace and can occur between any two employees within the company. While many believe harassment falls only between supervisors and employees, the problem can occur between any two individuals employed by the same business. Harassment can occur in many different ways, and any advance or action that makes you uncomfortable can be reported as harassment. While many feel embarrassed or anxious about their jobs when reporting harassment, they are encouraged to report incidents appropriately and quickly.

Employee rights and responsibilities

Any time an individual feels she or he is being harassed in the workplace, that person should feel comfortable enough to report it to the correct individual or department. This not only protects employees, but can prevent the problem from happening in the future. The following are several actions that can be taken when it comes to sexual harassment:

  • Speak directly to the individual: If you are comfortable with doing so, simply ask the individual to stop the harassment when it happens. The person may not understand that her or his actions are making you uncomfortable.
  • Identify witnesses or other victims: If the harasser has bothered other employees, they may have filed a complaint with the company. You should also speak to any witnesses who may have seen the harassment.
  • Update your supervisor: If the behavior does not stop when you speak to the person, go to your supervisor with a formal letter with details about the situation.
  • Contact senior management: If the matter is not handled appropriately by your supervisor, you may need to contact your HR manager or senior management to file a formal complaint.
  • File a complaint with the EEOC: If you are still frustrated by a lack of action on the part of your management, you can contact the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission to file a charge.

Every employee, man or woman, should feel comfortable in the workplace as he or she works to earn a living. If at any time an employee feels threatened or uncomfortable with a situation with another supervisor or employee at the workplace, it may be necessary to take action. If you feel unsafe handling the problem on your own, never address your harasser alone.

Filing a lawsuit

If the problem goes too far or you fear your job is in jeopardy because of sexual harassment, you may benefit from speaking to an attorney about your options. Any questions or concerns you have can be properly dealt with if you have the right representation for your case.

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