When it comes to workplace sexual harassment, most people assume they'll never experience this. However, even if your company promotes a healthy work environment, you never know when someone will cross the line and put you in an awkward and dangerous position.
When many people think about workplace sexual harassment the first thing that comes to mind is a man harassing a woman, such as by repeatedly asking her out on a date or unwanted touching.
While this is one form of workplace sexual harassment, there are a few overlooked facts that you should always keep in mind:
- The victim is not always the person who is harassed but can be anyone impacted by the conduct
- The harasser and the victim can be either a man or a woman
- The victim does not have to be the opposite sex of the harasser
- The harasser doesn't always work for the same company but could include a non-employee, vendor or contractor
- Workplace sexual harassment only comes into play if the harasser's conduct is unwelcome
With these facts guiding you, it's easier to determine if you've been the victim of workplace sexual harassment. If you have, here are some key steps to take:
- Tell the harasser they've crossed the line and to stop immediately
- Collect evidence related to the incident
- Review your employee handbook
- Report the incident to your HR department
If you're unsatisfied with the results of these steps, it's time to learn more about your legal rights. You may be able to take action against the harasser and your employer.