How to Deal with Sexual Harassment at Work

Sexual harassment in the workplace is not a joke.  Not only is sexual harassment a human rights violation, it can also lead to a law suit and jail time.  If you are being sexually harassed at work, it can be difficult to know what steps to take in order to stop to the situation.

Here are some simple guidelines you can follow to protect yourself:

  1. Be firm and direct with getting your message across. You’ll want to make it clear that this type of attention is unwanted by setting clear verbal boundaries.  Ignoring the behavior can work against you by encouraging it to continue.  Say ‘no’ like you mean it.  Giving excuses, such as ‘I have a boyfriend/girlfriend’ sends mixed signals.
  2. Hold the harasser accountable. Once you’ve made your wants clear be sure not to make excuses for the harasser or be overly nice in anyway.  This is not your fault and it’s certainly not your place to protect them from feeling rejected.  If you do, you will be sending mixed messages.  Make them take responsibility for their actions.
  3. Don’t debate the situation. Harassers will often try to bait you with diversionary tactics to get you to submit to their demands.  They may try to coax you into a discussion or argument. Do not give these tactics the time of day.  Walk away.
  4. Reinforce your statements with appropriate body language. By using strong, self-respecting body language your harasser will know you mean business.  Don’t smile or be timid in anyway.  Keep your head up and maintain a strong, serous stance.
  5. Document the harassment. Write down the date and time of every incident and notate if there were any witnesses. Take note of names and people involved.

If you feel that the situation could get out of control you’ll want to consult with a legal advocate early on. This will protect you from any damage to your reputation and making mistakes in the process as things can become tricky if your harasser is your superior.  In many cases it has led to wrongful termination.

The attorneys at the Callanan, Rogers & Dzida, LLP have years of experience in most aspects of employment law. We can help you if you believe you have been wrongfully terminated. We are your reputable Los Angeles employment attorneys. For a consultation with one of our experienced employment lawyers please contact us toll free at 866-345-5585.

Posted: 02/28/11 Joseph Dzida

Categories: CRD Employment