Sexual harassment on the job still occurs across many businesses. If you have had to deal with it, you may want to report it but hesitate because of a lack of proof.
There are steps you can take now to help strengthen a future case. The only way to stop sexual harassment is by taking action against it.
Keep a paper trail
Sexual harassment involves unwanted advances in an attempt to cajole you into having a sexual relationship with a coworker. The person may not only state these intentions in the form of innuendo or sexually charged conversations, but you may also receive emails, texts and social media comments. Keep all of these messages, and back up anything from your work server to a personal file.
Document in-person discussions
When you find yourself in a face-to-face setting with the harasser, you should immediately document inappropriate comments or advances. Sexual harassment may involve touching or encroaching on your personal space, all aimed at making you feel pressure to give in. As soon as the person leaves, you should send yourself a time-stamped message with what happened, and provide details such as what he or she was wearing and any surrounding people.
Set the scene
Hostile workplaces often hold the highest instances of sexual harassment. If you can prove that your work environment falls into this category or that there is an air of toxicity to the way management deals with any complaints of discomfort, it will help support your claims.
You do not want to engage with someone who is harassing you, and the sooner you can report the behavior, the quicker the resolution. As always, safety in numbers is critical, so if co-workers express similar experiences, the claims process may prove easier to manage.