Tips for dealing with sexual harassment
No one deserves to work in a hostile environment. Good jobs are hard to find and most of the time, the work environment is productive and supportive to all of the employees. However, there has been a lot of attention given in the media lately to several high profile sexual harassment lawsuits.
Sexual harassment makes employees uncomfortable and is an abuse of power. It is also illegal. The problem is that many of these cases are settled out of court and the records are sealed so that no one is privy to the details of the charges. While this protects privacy, it also makes it harder to know where the line is and how to deal with the beginning stages of sexual harassment.
Here are some tips for dealing with sexual harassment:
- Address it every time – The problem that many women face when they are confronted with the early stages of sexual harassment is that they want to ignore it. They think that if they say something when the harassment is slight, then they will be labeled as being overly sensitive. Women in general feel pressure to “be nice”. In order to nip the problem in the bud, it's important to address it every single time. If someone tells an off color joke or makes a sexual comment toward you, be clear and let them know that it isn't appropriate. If you are wishy-washy, others may think that it is ok.
- Network constantly – Network with co-workers and HR executives. Be familiar with your company's policy and support their attempts at raising awareness of sexual harassment in the workplace. No one deserves to work in a hostile environment.
- Know when to report it – You may not want to report every wise crack or off color joke, but know when enough is enough. If you are being harassed, be professional when you report it and document each incident. Don't be afraid to report the behavior if you feel that it has gotten out of hand. Talk with your supervisor or an Human Resources manager in order to determine the right course of action.
Sexual harassment is wrong and it's illegal. We all are responsible for making sure that our workplace isn't hostile toward anyone. Even though some people still treat it like a joke, it is a serious crime and a problem that seems to continue at workplaces at all levels.
Have you been the victim of sexual harassment? Let me know in the comments.
By Melissa Kennedy- Melissa is a 9 year blog veteran and a freelance writer for EducationJobSiteBlog, along with helping others find the job of their dreams, she enjoys computer geekery, raising a teenager, supporting her local library, writing about herself in the third person and working on her next novel.