Although pretty much everyone understands that sexual harassment in the workplace is unlawful, it still happens at a disturbing rate. Such harassment can involve many behaviors, from making offensive gestures to demands for sexual favors.
Sometimes, workplace sexual harassment may end on its own. For example, some offenders get bored and stop their behavior if their target does not respond. Unfortunately, many will continue the misconduct regardless of your response. The steps below can help you address the problem while preserving evidence for potential legal action.
Tell them to stop
It feels awkward to call out a sexual harassment offender at work, but not doing so may harm your claim if you decide a legal approach is in order. Each time the offender engages in harassing behaviors, tell them clearly to stop the conduct.
Report the behavior
Unfortunately, this step is also uncomfortable, but your superiors need to know what is happening to you. Go to your boss or Human Resources and inform them about the unwanted conduct. If the offender is your boss, tell them to stop and then report the matter to someone else in authority or HR.
Journal the harassment
As soon as you realize you are a victim of workplace sexual harassment, start a log or journal detailing your experiences. Note the dates and times when harassment occurred and include details about what your boss or others you reported it to did to resolve the matter. Your journal can serve as a timeline of events and strengthen your sexual harassment claim if you choose to file.
Since California has some of the nation’s most worker-friendly employment laws, don’t assume you cannot win your claim. Instead, learn more about the law and consider obtaining professional guidance.