The unfortunate reality is that sexual harassment still happens in the workplace, and many workers are not entirely sure what they should do. They know that the actions taken toward them are wrong, but how do they put a stop to it?
Every situation is unique, but there are four steps that can generally help with most sexual harassment cases:
- Start by making it very clear to the other person that their behavior is unacceptable and makes you uncomfortable. Don’t worry about being nice or being too direct. Many people use the excuse that they didn’t know anything was wrong. You can take that away by clearly telling them that you want them to stop.
- Next, write out a log or a journal of all related events. This could include things like who was involved, when it happened, what day it was, where you were and exactly what took place.
- If you have any hard copies of harassment, file them away. For instance, maybe they didn’t harass you in person, but they sent you text messages or photos. Make copies and keep them for your day in court.
- Finally, don’t keep it to yourself. It may be best to go right to HR or to a senior manager. You can also talk to coworkers, friends, and family members. You do not need to go through this alone. They can offer support and back up your claims later, if needed.
Sexual harassment has no place in the modern workplace, and yet all too many people can confirm that it does happen. If it happens to you, make sure you understand your legal options.