Sexual harassment in the workplace is a topic that has been a hot-button issue for years. In recent months, it seems like sexual harassment is back in the news cycle with new allegations against high-profile people coming out every day.
More and more people are feeling empowered to come forward with their stories of being sexually harassed at work. While many people may think sexual harassment is a topic that only affects women, it can affect anyone.
What can I do if I am being sexually harassed by my employer?
To protect yourself and your career, consider these seven ways to deal with sexual harassment at work if targeted by your boss:
- Communicate: If the harassment is verbal, you can confront your harasser and tell them to stop. Tell them you find their behavior inappropriate and request that they stop immediately.
- Educate: Educate yourself on what constitutes sexual harassment in the workplace.
- Document: Document everything, including dates, times, what happened, who was present when it happened and how you felt about it.
- Report: Report any incidents to HR and/or a supervisor or higher up within the organization.
- Control your reaction: Be careful not to retaliate against the perpetrator – this could compromise your case if you decide to take legal action.
- Seek help: Contact outside agencies like Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) or Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), if necessary.
- Advocacy: Seek legal counsel to discuss your rights and the merits of your case.
According to CNN News and the EEOC, 70% of employees that experienced harassment never filed a complaint with their employer. If the harassment continues after reporting it to your employer, then it might be time to explore other legal options.
It’s difficult to know how you should react when faced with sexual harassment in the workplace. The best course of action is usually to seek legal counsel that has experience handling these types of cases if it happens to you.