You are a victim of sexual harassment if you are subjected to unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, physical contact of a sexual nature or verbal or visual conduct of a sexual nature in the workplace. This guide provides important Do's and Don'ts to help you protect your rights.
Don't Ignore the Harassment.
Ignoring inappropriate sexual conduct in the workplace will not make it go away. It will continue, will possibly intensify and your inaction could be seen as acceptance or encouragement.
Do Report the Harassment
Your company cannot take action if you do not report sexually harassing conduct. Follow any reporting policies your employer has and in their absence, report sexual harassment to your supervisor or to the HR department. Failing to report sexual harassment may adversely affect your legal rights.
Don't Be Ashamed or Blame Yourself
Many victims of sexual harassment are ashamed that they are victims and/or blame themselves. There is nothing to be ashamed about. Sexual harassment is a common workplace problem. Do not blame yourself. Many harassers start slowly so that it can become vague when a line is crossed. Welcome conduct can become unwelcome. It is OK to say "enough is enough."
Do Be Vigilant For Retaliation
It is unlawful for an employer to retaliate against an employee who reports harassment. If workplace rules are being enforced more strictly or your work performance is being judged more critically you may be the victim of retaliation.
Do Seek Legal Advice
If you believe you are the victim of sexual harassment or retaliation for reporting harassment it is best practice to contact an employment attorney as soon as possible. Getting timely legal advice may prevent an adverse employment action and may strengthen your legal claims if there is an adverse employment action. Knowing your rights and responsibilities from the outset is important.