Denver, CO- State and federal laws protect employees from discrimination and harassment, and yet each year tens of thousands of people are subjected to a hostile work environment. Many people who are subjected to sexual harassment are unclear what they should. We hope these tips will help you if have the misfortune of being the target of this type of misconduct.

Don’t Ignore the Harassment.

Too many make the mistake of thinking if they ignore the unwanted touching or lewd comments, their harasser will stop. This isn’t the case and in many instances ignoring the harassment will only embolden the harasser and possibly escalate the behavior. Talking about sexual harassment can be awkward and uncomfortable but if you talk it about it with coworkers you trust you may just find they are facing the same problem

Confront the Harasser Directly.

The key element of a sexual harassment complaint is that the behavior is unwanted. But some coworkers don’t always realize that their inappropriate comments or action are offensive and sometimes contend that their target actually enjoyed or invited the attention. You must make it clear to a coworker that you don’t like their behavior and you find it offensive. Many people are too intimidated to confront their harasser but doing do will make it clear that the behavior is unwanted if the harassment continues.

Take Notes About the Harassment.

If you are subjected to persistent sexual harassment, you should take notes and keep a diary which contains details of the harassment such as what was said and dates and times. You should also keep any memos, notes and other communications sent to you by your harasser. Be certain to keep your notes and communications off company computers. Many employers monitor their employee communications so anything you say in those communications can be used against you if you file a formal sexual harassment complaint.

Report the Harassment to Your Employer.

If you are being sexually harassed and have already confronted your harasser and yet the behavior persists, you should report that employee to a supervisor. Under the law, employers must be given an opportunity to address the harassment. If the harassment persists, a formal complaint provides proof that your employer was aware of the problem and did not effectively prevent future incidents. If you don’t inform your employer and decide to pursue a sexual harassment lawsuit your claim can be denied because your employer can contend they were never given the opportunity to remedy the situation.

Seek Legal Counsel.

If you have done everything right by confronting the harasser and informing your employer about the harassment and it continues, it is time to seek legal counsel. A sexual harassment attorney is well-versed in employment discrimination laws and can give you advice on how to proceed, especially if you are thinking of quitting your job because of the harassment.  They can also assist you with legal actions if the harassment continues unabated or worsens.