“Harassment” sounds like a harsh word, which is fitting because it describes harsh treatment and actions. Harassment can involve rude comments, threats, unwanted physical contact and more. You may never have anticipated someone harassing you or for the actions to continue, but you began facing consistent sexual harassment in the workplace.
At first, your harasser’s actions may have made you feel uncomfortable, or even as if you had done something to warrant his or her unseemly actions. However, you came to realize that you were the victim of workplace harassment and that it was the other person’s behavior that needed to be addressed. Now, you wonder what to do.
Handling harassment at work
Sexual harassment at work can be difficult to address for many reasons. You may worry that your concerns will be rebuked, that you will face retaliation or that co-workers may simply view you as a tattle-tale. Nonetheless, harassment of any kind is a serious matter, and you deserve to have your concerns heard. Some steps you can take in efforts to take charge of the matter include the following:
- Tell your harasser to stop. Bringing up that his or her actions make you uncomfortable could be enough to end the problem, but only do so if you feel comfortable with that confrontation.
- If the actions continue or you do not want to address your harasser directly, go over your company policy for filing complaints about such issues.
- Follow the steps in the policy, if one exists, to formally complain about the situation.
- If you do not have a policy to follow, you still have options. Speak with your supervisor or another higher-up in the organization and ask for assistance in handling the matter.
Though it can seem stressful and anxiety-inducing to have to take such steps, your employer should be on your side as far as reviewing and investigating your complaint. If your employer does not handle the matter effectively or if you face backlash for complaining, you do have other options.
If the harassment continues or if your employer does not take proper steps to follow up on your complaint, you do not have to feel as if that is the end of the line. You have legal options for addressing the situation, and you do not have to do it alone. A Florida employment law attorney can act as your legal advocate and ensure your rights when addressing sexual harassment in the workplace.