Sexual harassment is a serious offense that no one should be the victim of while on the job. Although sexual harassment is against the law, unfortunately many employees still find themselves the victim of it, which can lead to greatly diminished job performance and a much less healthy and happy work environment than they have the right to.
If you believe you are being sexually harassed, or if you fear that you are in an environment where sexual harassment is possible, you may want to take some steps to help ensure your comfort and safety on the job. If you are struggling at work, take note of these suggestions and see if they can help you.
Seven tips on how to protect yourself from sexual harassment:
Let them know if an employee makes you uncomfortable :
Never feel that it is out of line or inappropropriate to make your boundaries known. If an employee’s actions or words are offensive to you, or if you feel that your right to a comfortable workplace has been violated, be clear about it to the employee in question.
If the behavior continues, notify a supervisor immediately:
It is your employer’s duty to ensure that all employees have access to a safe work environment. If behavior is being continued after you have asked an employee to stop, let your supervisor know. Do not worry about whether your complaint is too large or too small. It is always better to have a record of the incident.
Make as much communication as possible in writing:
When possible, make any communication between you and the person who may be harassing you in writing. The more communication that is in writing, the better record you will have of events that transpire, and the lower chances you will have of being harassed.
Keep a note of all incidents:
Not all behaviors will occur via email. In fact, most instances of sexual harassment occur in a verbal or physical form. If you have begun to feel that you are being harassed, keep track of all occurrences, noting date, time, and any other pertinent information.
Do not be intimidated by a person’s position in the company:
No one has the right to treat you disrespectfully, regardless of what their title may be. Do not hesitate to report someone for harassing behavior simply because they hold a higher title than you.
Avoid social interactions with possible harassers:
If a person has begun to treat you in a way that you feel is inappropriate, try to limit your contact with them. Avoiding engaging in social behavior with a person who makes you uncomfortable can help limit the number of chances they have to interact with you.
Speak with an attorney:
If you feel that you have been the victim of sexual harassment, contact a sexual harassment attorney immediately. An attorney will be very familiar with sexual harassment laws and procedures and can help you take the right steps to finding justice, filing a complaint and restoring your right to a peaceful and happy workplace.
Jefffrey R. Lamb, an Associate Lawyer at Martin Stanley Law, is a devoted husband to his wife and in his off time donates his time speaking about Education and the Law.
Image source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/biscuitsmlp/3044867827/