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How to report sexual harassment in the workplace

On Behalf of | Dec 10, 2023 | Employment Law -- Employee |

If a colleague or a supervisor engages in unwanted sexual behavior, creating a hostile work environment for you, this is unlawful. If the behavior persists, the case is severe or you are uncomfortable confronting the harasser directly, you should report it to your employer.

Here is how you can do this:

Check your employer’s anti-harassment policy

Your employer’s anti-harassment policy should provide you with adequate information about reporting a case. You can find the policy on the company’s website or employee handbook. If you can’t find it, ask a senior (your supervisor or anyone in Human Resources) to give you a copy.

Follow the procedures in the policy when reporting your case. 

Talk to your supervisor

Although rare, if your employer lacks an anti-harassment policy, you should inform your supervisor or any superior in the office about your experience. If the supervisor is the harasser, report the matter to a higher level manager or to Human Resources directly.

File a charge of discrimination with the EEOC 

If an appropriate action is not taken internally, you can file a charge of discrimination with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) or the Florida Commission on Human Relations (FCHR). 

Note that there are specific time limits for filing. With the EEOC, a charge must be filed within 300 days of the act of discrimination or harassment. With the FCHR, you can file at any time within 365 days of the occurrence of the harassment.

If you believe you have experienced sexual harassment at work, it is vital to understand how to report the case. You should also seek legal guidance to know your options, obtain assistance in filing a charge of harassment and, in turn, protect your rights.