What should I do if I was sexually harassed at work?

If you experienced sexual harassment in the workplace, as a first step you can approach the harasser and ask them to stop the unwanted behavior. If the harassment persists or if you do not feel comfortable communicating with the individual, you should speak to your supervisor or a human resources representative in your company.

Find out if your employer has an internal process for reporting sexual harassment, including any specific rules and timeframes that you are required to follow. Bringing the sexual harassment to your employer’s attention as soon as possible is important so that they can start an investigation into your complaint.

Make sure you hold onto any evidence of the sexual harassment including emails or text messages. Keep notes about the specific instances of sexual harassment including times, dates, what happened and potential witnesses.

In some cases, resolving the matter through your employer may not be possible. For example, your supervisor or human resources representative may be the one doing the harassing. In such situations, you can pursue a claim with the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing or the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. You can also discuss your situation with an experienced employment lawyer who can advise you of your rights and how to move forward with your sexual harassment claim.

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