Here’s what you can do:
- Speak with your coworker about what you’ve witnessed and listen to what they have to say about it. Be empathetic, don’t try to paint over their experience, and let them know you’re there to listen.
- Interrupt instances of harassment that you witness. You can do this by injecting yourself into the conversation or telling the harasser that you need their help with something, so they get distracted.
- Talk with coworkers you trust about the harassment and get a feel for how comfortable the rest of the staff is with this treatment. Keep these conversations focused on the harasser and not the person being harassed. You don’t want to violate their privacy or make them the subject of office gossip.
- Document the instances of harassment that you witness, including the dates, times, and all parties involved. If your coworker decides to file a claim, your records can be of use to them.
Often in situations involving workplace sexual harassment, your company will advise you to speak with human resources, but HR works to protect the company, not you. Speaking with an attorney does not mean you are filing a claim right away, but it will provide you with a trusted resource to turn to as you figure out what to do next.
Not every instance will require legal intervention, however. Sometimes talking with HR will be enough to resolve the problem. However, you want to be sure that you have a backup plan if your HR representative cannot—or does not want to—stop the behavior.
We Are Here When You’re Ready to Take Action
In the workplace, sexual harassment can quickly start to feel normal. The longer it goes on, the more it will feel like a part of the company culture. Don’t let this happen in your workplace. Find out what you can do to stand up against sexual harassment in your workplace.
It doesn’t matter if you are ready to file a claim or are just curious about your options, the sexual harassment lawyer at Benton Employment Law is here to help. No one deserves to feel uncomfortable in their workspace. Our experienced Oakland attorney can help you understand the law and brainstorm solutions to your problem.