Dealing with an uncomfortable situation in the workplace is nerve-wracking for many reasons. For example, it may cause workers to dread going to work, and they typically do not want to do anything that could put their employment at risk. Of course, it is not uncommon for a supervisor, a co-worker, or even a customer to cause an employee to dread work, and in some cases, it could be sexual harassment.
When someone experiences sexual misconduct at work or anywhere else, all they want is for the harassment to stop. In some cases, pointing out the inappropriate nature of the actions to the harasser or a supervisor and making it known that it is unwanted and unacceptable is enough for the behavior to stop. In other cases, it is not that easy.
While filing a report with a supervisor or the human resources department is a step in the right direction, it may not always be an available step to take because the harasser may be the supervisor employer or the employer may have nowhere else to report. The following actions may help bolster a harassment complaint:
- Documenting details about the harassment, including dates of incidents, what happened, who was involved, the names of any witnesses, and what was said
- Retaining emails, texts or other communications received from the harasser that contain inappropriate content
- Finding support in the workplace when trying to deal with harassment, such as a trusted co-worker to confide in
- Determining who to report the harassment to, whether it is a boss, the HR department, another manager or someone else
- Having a backup plan in case filing the report does not get the harassment to stop
It can be frightening to take action in efforts to stop sexual harassment in the workplace, but the employees’ well-being should always be a top priority. If harassing actions are taking a toll on a worker, then filing a complaint, seeking support and otherwise protecting oneself is vital. In the event that filing a report in the workplace does not have the desired results, looking into legal options may be appropriate.