Your co-worker won’t take no for an answer when it comes to drinks after work. And why is it that your supervisor can’t seem to pass you in the corridor without brushing up against you?
Every day is a fresh headline. Democratic Sen. Al Franken. Philadelphia Sheriff Jewell Williams. Comedian Louis C.K. Republican U.S. Senate candidate Roy Moore. Those are the high-profile cases, but what should you do if the harassment is happening to you?
Maya Raghu, director of workplace equality and senior counsel at the National Women’s Law Center in Washington, has this advice:
As soon as you have an inkling that what you are experiencing may be harassment, start documenting incidents. Write a memo to yourself with dates, times, and descriptions of what happened. Were there any witnesses? Make a note of them. Save hard copies of emails, texts, and tweets. Transcribe voice mails and date them.
Before you complain, do research. Does your company have a policy? What is the reporting procedure? What are the potential outcomes? Does it say anything about retribution?
Longtime Philadelphia employment lawyer Alice Ballard said in an interview that the human resources department “is not your friend,” because it is charged with protecting the interests of the company. Friend or not, Raghu said, HR is the place to start — because of the way the law has developed, it’s important to show that the proper procedures were followed, even before reaching out to agencies such as the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
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