Sexual harassment is a serious problem in our workplaces. Research shows that between 25-50 percent of women have experienced sexual harassment at work. Emotional trauma, decreased productivity and higher turnover rates are all linked to sexual harassment. After all, it’s difficult to work where you don’t feel safe or comfortable.
Reporting harassment, however, can be difficult. Among the concerns many victims have is fear of retaliation and whether reporting the incident is worth the trouble. Remember that you have the right to a safe workplace environment. If you believe you have experienced sexual harassment at work, here are some actions you can take.
- Write down everything. Document dates and times as well as what happened and who was involved. This will allow you to accurately retell your story should you have to track multiple incidents.
- Send a good email. Make it clear in the subject line that you’re reporting sexual harassment. Be sure to include your boss and human resources manager as recipients.
- Escalate the situation, if necessary. Have you filed your complaint and not seen a satisfactory result? The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is the government agency that oversees employment harassment and discrimination. All you do is file a complaint on their website.
Instances of sexual harassment can be upsetting but it’s important to document everything in as much detail as soon as you can. It’s important to remember that the EEOC has a six-month statute of limitations on any act of harassment.
Everyone should feel safe in the workplace
You don’t have to tolerate an unsafe work environment. The law protects employees against harassment and retaliation for reporting such things. Filing a complaint can be difficult but it is an important step in making the workplace safer for you and your coworkers.