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5 steps to take if you are experiencing sexual harassment at work

Sexual harassment is a widespread issue across all industries. If you are a woman who is bearing the brunt of inappropriate behavior at work, you may have no idea what to do. While you want the harassment to stop, it can be confusing and intimidating to take action.

While you may feel afraid to report sexual harassment, it is the best way to make it stop. Here is a step-by-step guide for handling a sexual harasser at the workplace.

1. Document the incidents

Take note of any type of harassment you experience, whether it is differential treatment, offensive comments or quid pro quo offers. Write down the details of the situation, including the place, date, time and names of any witnesses. Documentation is crucial to the process. 

2. Keep your notes secure

Be mindful of where you keep your notes. Do not leave a journal in your desk drawer or keep them in a document on your work computer. Instead, keep them safe in your purse, on your phone or on your computer at home. This makes sure no one else will be able to access your notes and delete them.

3. Gather additional evidence

Your harasser may send you texts, emails or cards. If this happens, keep any physical notes and screenshot digital messages. Make copies and print out digital images just to be thorough. 

4. Make a report at your workplace

According to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, you should follow any reporting procedures in the anti-harassment policy where you work. If no such policy exists, speak to a supervisor or human resources professional. Make your report in writing so there is no disputing what you say.

5. Get legal help

An attorney can help you bolster your case. Your next step may be to file a complaint with the EEOC or even pursue a lawsuit against your employer.

Follow these steps to assert your right to work in a safe environment.

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