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How to Deal with Sexual Harassment in the Workplace

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Unfortunately, sexual harassment is a common occurrence in the workplace for both men and women and can range from serious sexual assault to unwanted comments and remarks about your appearance to make you feel uncomfortable. Federal law prohibits sexual harassment in the workplace, however, this doesn’t stop many people from harassing their colleagues. When it occurs, it can be very difficult to work with and can quickly turn your dream job into a nightmare. Thankfully, there are various ways to deal with sexual harassment quickly and effectively. These include:

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#1. Speak to the Person Directly

In some cases, you may be able to end sexual harassment towards you in your workplace by simply speaking to the perpetrator and letting them know how their behavior is making you feel. In some cases, they may not even realize that you are feeling harassed; they might class their behavior as harmless flirting and speaking to them about it could elicit an apology and the behavior may cease. In other cases, telling them that you will be reporting them if they do not stop may also put an end to harassment against you. If necessary, you may wish to ask a supervisor, manager, or HR professional for support.

#2. Inform Your Supervisor

If speaking to your harasser does not have any effect or you are worried about the implications of doing so, then the next step that you can take is to inform your supervisor, who will be able to get a process in place to deal with the behavior. Your supervisor will be able to call a meeting with management and HR to come up with an effective strategy for best dealing with the behavior. They may also be able to speak to the person in question and, since they have more authority, this will often be more effective than speaking to them yourself. If it is your supervisor who is harassing you, then their direct supervisor or manager should be informed.

#3. Contact EEOC

If you have spoken to your supervisor, management, and the HR department of your workplace and still no action has been taken, then you may wish to take your complaint a step further by contacting the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), which deals with sexual harassment in the workplace. When you contact them, you should give them your employer’s name, the name of the offender, and any other pertinent details. You may also wish to get statements from witnesses to support your complaint.

#4. Seek Legal Advice

In some cases, sexual harassment in the workplace ends up in court. If you have been seriously sexually assaulted or the harassment has led to other serious issues in your life, then a lawsuit can be filed against the offender. You can seek monetary damages, for example, if you have had to take time off work due to the harassment or try to get your job back if you lost it due to the situation. Speak to this Boston sexual harassment lawyer for more information.

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