Sexual harassment is a terrible occurrence that must be taken seriously. Everybody has the right to work somewhere where they feel safe. Sexual harassment is a type of violation that can make you feel unsafe on the job; it's also illegal. If you have been the victim of sexual harassment at your workplace, here are four steps you can take to address your concerns:
1. Keep yourself safe.
Your safety is the most important consideration. Never put yourself in a situation where you think you may be harmed. If you think the person harassing you might hurt you in some way, always call the police immediately. If this is an option, try to remove yourself from the situation as soon as possible in order to protect yourself from psychological harm.
2. Document the incident.
Moving forward, it will help you to have evidence of the sexual harassment that was committed against you. Document the incident in any way you can. If someone harassed you over email, text, or voicemail, save the communication. You may want to forward a copy to your own personal email address or cell phone to protect it from deletion. If there's no physical record of the harassment, write an account of the incident yourself. Be as specific as possible and include the date and time. This can help your attorney establish a pattern of sexually harassing behavior which can help them build a case for you.
3. Hire a sexual harassment attorney.
Before you take any additional action, you should consult with a sexual harassment attorney. Sexual harassment is against the law, and an attorney who is experienced in this facet of the law will be able to provide you with sound advice. Talking to a lawyer before you report the incident to your boss or HR department can help you protect your interests. Some companies may try to illegally reprimand or even terminate employees who report harassment, and an attorney can help you navigate the situation in a way that's likely attain a favorable outcome.
4. Speak to your job's human resources department.
You should also report the sexual harassment incident to the human resources department at your workplace. They may be able to investigate or terminate the employee responsible. At the very least, they can begin building a record of objectionable conduct which can allow them to fire the person who harassed you in the future.