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What to do if you are a victim of sexual harassment

On Behalf of | Dec 21, 2022 | Sexual Harassment |

Sexual harassment at work affects many New York and New Jersey residents. Sexual harassment is illegal under federal law if you work for an employer who has more than 15 employees and you are not an independent contractor.

Sexual harassment has many forms

There are many different forms of sexual harassment. You may be a victim of sexual harassment without even knowing it.

Sexual harassment does not need to involve physical contact. It could be offensive comments directed toward you or an entire group of people, such as women or mothers.

Additionally, a manager or supervisor asking you for sexual favors in exchange for a promotion, raise or other benefit is sexual harassment.

Do not stay silent about the harassment

You might be confused and unsure of what to do if you feel you are experiencing sexual harassment. You could also be afraid of losing your job or getting a bad reputation for reporting it. This is understandable.

There are various steps you can take to address the harassment. You can try talking to the person who is sexually harassing you.

Only do this if you feel comfortable talking to them directly. Tell them you are not comfortable with their behavior and ask them to stop.

Document everything

If you do not feel comfortable talking to them, or they do not stop, document each incident of harassment. Write down the date, time, location and exactly what happened.

Your employer most likely has a sexual harassment policy. Read it carefully and follow the instructions for reporting harassment.

Talk to a trusted supervisor or human resources manager if there is no policy in place and tell them what is going on. Bring along your documentation.

You have rights under the law and one of these is filing a sexual harassment claim with the Equal Opportunity Employment Commission. There are deadlines for which claims can be filed, so you should talk with an employment attorney before filing to make sure you comply with all requirements.