What to Do if a Co-worker is Sexually Harassing You?

Unfortunately, sexual harassment is still a serious problem in the workplace. Fortunately, laws in the State of California protect all employees against sexual harassment and other types of discrimination that happen in the workplace all too often. If you are in a situation where a manager or a co-worker sexually harasses you at work, you should take certain steps to try and stop the harassment, including reporting it to a manager or human resources department.

A knowledgeable California employment lawyer in your area can represent you during a sexual harassment claim or lawsuit. Your lawyer can also answer any questions that you may have and can represent you in all legal proceedings. 

What is Sexual Harassment in the Workplace?

In a nutshell, workplace sexual harassment is unwanted touching or attention of a sexual nature – usually by a co-worker or manager. In some instances, off-color sexual innuendo or comments, including through texts, voicemails, and emails, amount to sexual harassment. Sexual harassment can also be predatory. If you believe that you are the victim of sexual harassment at your workplace, there are certain steps that you can take on your own. In addition, you should contact your human resources person, supervisor, or manager about the conduct.

Confront the Harasser Directly

If you feel comfortable doing so, you should first confront the individual who is harassing you and tell them to stop. You can tell the person that you find the conduct or communication offensive and that you do not want to date the person. If you do not feel comfortable, or if you feel unsafe confronting the harasser, you may need to take further steps. 

Keep Good Written Records of the Harassment

It is also important in a case of workplace sexual harassment to keep thorough written records of everything that occurred. For example, if the harasser sends you annoying or sexually offensive voicemails, text messages, or emails, you should keep a record of these communications and not delete them. Moreover, if the individual is making verbal comments of a sexual nature to you, you should keep good notes about those comments and when the person made them. These records are especially important when you have to report the conduct to an employer or to outside individuals. 

Report the Conduct to a Human Resources Manager

Next, you should be sure to report the unwanted attention to a human resources person or a manager. In fact, many employers have a tip line that you could call anonymously if you do not want to give your name at that time. After you file a report with human resources regarding the conduct, you should follow up and make sure that the company takes the appropriate actions.

If they do not, you want to reach out to a knowledgeable California sexual harassment lawyer. Your lawyer will be able to explain all of your legal options and might be able to file a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and, if necessary, a lawsuit against your employer and the co-worker who is sexually harassing you.

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