Sexual harassment in the workplace frequently comes in one of two forms. Quid quo pro harassment generally involves an unwanted sexual advance, usually for some sort of benefit such as a promotion or a raise. A hostile work environment is when people are made to feel uncomfortable due to behaviors or comments that are sexual in nature.
If employees are facing harassment at their job, it is important that they do not ignore it. In most cases, the first step to dealing with harassment is to make it clear to someone that what they are doing is unacceptable. This may be as simple as telling someone to stop.
However, if the harassment continues, individuals should document the issue and make their employer aware of the problem. This could involve reporting the issue to a supervisor or to human resources. If someone’s direct supervisor is the one who is doing the harassing, people may have to go up the chain of command to let an organization know that there is a problem. At each step, the issue should be documented to help create a paper trail and prove that the person has tried to make an employer aware of the issue.
Employees can often depend on their employers to handle unwanted sexual advances or innuendos in a responsible way. However, there are also many situations where organizations ignore people’s complaints or even punish them for bringing up problems. In these cases, people may need to pursue legal action to have their issues resolved. An employment law attorney can be of assistance in initiating the process.