Do you often feel uncomfortable at work due to somebody making certain comments or showing behavior that is not appropriate?
Then you are likely facing sexual harassment. Sexual harassment is an unwelcome behavior of a sexual nature that can occur in the workplace. This behavior may be expressed in various ways, including through words, gestures, or even physical actions.
If this sounds familiar then you will want to take action to get it to stop. There are a lot of laws in your favor and work towards empowering employees who are victims of discrimination. In this article, we will go over some of the steps to take to end this behavior and allow you to work in dignity.
1 – Protect Your Rights
Wherever it is that you live, there are a number of laws that protect you from unwanted sexual behavior among other discriminatory actions. For instance, there are rules for diversity that some companies have to follow to protect certain classes of workers.
Researching these laws can help you understand what constitutes harassment and what protections you have as an employee. If you believe that your rights have been violated, it’s a good idea to consult with a legal professional. They can guide you on the next steps and help ensure that you’re treated fairly.
Timing is very important, however. If you wait too long to do something about the problem then you may be out of luck. There might be a specific timeframe within which you need to file a complaint or claim after an incident.
2 – Report the Harassment
Every company should have a policy on what to do if you are facing harassment from a coworker or superior. If you are able to follow the protocol, then make sure you do so as early as possible.
When you’re ready to report, make an appointment to talk to your immediate supervisor or your HR department. When you do, come prepared. Having some documentation that backs up your assertion will help take care of any doubts about your case. Have records of emails that were sent or any other communication that shows the incidents.
However, if for some reason you don’t feel safe reporting internally, you can consider external reporting channels. This includes talking with a lawyer, contacting your local labor board, or even the police depending on the situation.
3 – Find a Support Network
Dealing with sexual harassment can leave emotional scars. Trying to carry on by yourself could prevent those scars from healing. You could be facing a long period of poor mental health if you don’t find some support to get through it all.
First and foremost, look into getting some professional help. Professional therapists can provide coping mechanisms, a safe space to discuss feelings, and strategies to rebuild confidence and self-esteem.
Leaning on good friends and family members can also help you through this period. Sharing your experience can sometimes take a massive weight off of your shoulders.