Confronting a Sexual Harasser
Workplace sexual harassment can be scary, uncomfortable, and confusing. If you are experiencing sexual harassment, you may be hesitant to confront your harasser or just want to pretend the ordeal is not happening. But if you ignore the harassment, then it could continue. Further, by ignoring the problem, you may lose opportunities to protect your legal rights. If you are suffering unwanted sexual advances in the workplace, and thinking about confronting your harasser, there are certain steps you can take to protect your legal rights.What is Sexual Harassment?
Sexual harassment includes, but is not limited to:
- unwanted sexual advances;
- requiring sexual favors in exchange for employment benefits;
- suggestive sexual conduct, including: leering, gestures, or displaying sexual content;
- derogatory or suggestive humor;
- suggestive or sexual comments, whether spoken or written;
- physical touching or impeding movement.
This list is not exhaustive—other unwanted sexual advances, suggestive conduct, or derogatory behavior not listed here, might also qualify as sexual harassment. And it does not matter if your harasser is the same gender as you; an employee can harass an employee of the same gender.Confronting Your Harasser
If you have experienced sexual harassment at work, you may understandably want to avoid confrontation. But, confronting your harasser is generally in your best interest for two main reasons. First, confrontation would ideally cause the harasser to stop the offensive conduct. Second, if the harasser does not stop, then you could later use confrontation as proof that you did not welcome the harasser’s sexual advances.
If you feel comfortable, you could confront the harasser directly and ask him or her to stop the offensive behavior. You should not engage in a direct confrontation alone, but bring along a witness. If you choose to take this option, an experienced employment attorney can help guide you and prepare you for this interaction.
It is not at all uncommon, however, if you would rather not confront your harasser in person. In this case, you could object to the harassment in writing. Because written communication leaves a record, this option is, in some respects, preferable to direct confrontation. A written confrontation should be clear. It should define the offensive behavior, state your objection to it, and ask the harasser to stop engaging in the behavior.
Finally, you may ask an outside party to confront the harasser on your behalf.Contact a California Employment Attorney
Your workplace should be safe and allow you to labor in a comfortable environment. So, it can be very disorienting when someone, who should be a colleague, makes unwanted sexual advances towards you. Confronting a harasser is hard enough, and concerns about disrupting your place of work make it even harder. The compassionate Orange County, Los Angeles, and Riverside employment attorneys at Nassiri Law Group understand all these complications. They have the skill to help you confront your harasser and get justice. Call today for a free case consultation at (949) 375-4734.