Latest Trump Firestorm: Sexual Harassment at Work
Donald Trump’s comments on sexual harassment at work have raised questions about steps women can task if it happens to them. Most companies have formal policies prohibiting sexual harassment, but there are a few common sense steps any woman can take if she feels someone is acting inappropriately toward them at work.
1) Call It Out: These days, perhaps thanks to the freedom the feel commenting online, people feel free to say anything they please with no regard to what is appropriate or legal. Sometimes they have no clue that what they’re saying crosses boundaries. Be firm and direct and tell the person in question that such comments or advances are unacceptable.
2) Document It: Keep a written record with specific details of the date, time, nature of the comments or actions and any witnesses. Specifics count because when you allege harassment, your credibility will be questioned and facts can bolster your case
3) Report It: Depending on the size and structure of your organization, you might go to a trusted colleague for advice or to your supervisor. You can also go to your human resources department and file a formal complaint. But before you take that step, know that the purpose of HR departments is to protect the company, not serve as your personal ally. While that includes enforcing zero tolerance policies on sexual harassment, too often women confide in HR only to pegged as a problem because the company would rather protect the big boss, not the dispensable worker bee. That doesn’t mean you should not report claims of harassment; just be aware of how and to whom you turn for notification and support. If your employer is unresponsive, consider filing a complaint with the Equal Opportunity Commission. You don’t need a lawyer to do this. You can also consult a lawyer to better understand your rights and recourses, if you have the resources.