Office Advice from a Sexual Harassment Lawyer
Sexual harassment lawyers are often confronted with cases of sexual harassment in the office, especially in male-dominated careers. It is not uncommon to hear of uncomfortable moments with fellow co-workers, in fact, they are becoming more and more prevalent in today’s world. These encounters can easily lead to more serious situations where you would need to approach a sexual harassment lawyer. Here are a few things you can follow to ward off unwanted attention in the office.
Before you even enter the office you should have your lines drawn clearly and stick to them. Stick with what you are comfortable with. This could be going to dinner with a colleague only if it’s in a group or only having two drinks at a work function. This will enable you to draw a clear separation between your professional life and your social life.
While this is a controversial topic, it needs to be addressed. Sexual harassment is not the fault of the victim, regardless of what she wears, however it helps if you dress conservatively in the office. The chances of you attracting unwanted attention in the office will be significantly decreased if you opt for long pants, long skirts, jackets and flat shoes rather than tight blouses, short skirts and heels. This sends out the message that you are here for work and that you take your job seriously.
Always stay professional
Keeping your relationships at work professional goes along way to keeping unwanted attention at bay. It has been said that women are often unaware of the gestures they use and how men perceive them. It is better to be extra careful in this regard, rather than giving the wrong impression. Keep your hands to yourself and avoid divulging too many details about your personal life.
If someone at the office is making you feel uncomfortable, you need to nip it in the bud straight away. Maybe casually mention that you have a partner or that you don’t date fellow co-workers. If these remarks fall on deaf ears, feel free to be more upfront. Tell them politely but assertively that you are flattered but not interested.
Document the encounters
If the harassment continues to occur it is important to keep a record of all the unwanted advances, including details of where and when such advances took place. This will be of use to Human Resources as well as a sexual harassment lawyer, should your case make it to court.
Surround yourself with other colleagues
It will also be helpful if there are other people who witness the harassment, so as to have additional evidence on your side. So avoid being alone in a room with one other person (particularly the person who is bothering you). Sometimes a person will even stop harassing you if you are always surrounded by other people.
Let the right people know
If the sexual harassment has persisted despite the above measures you need to follow the correct protocol and take the matter to the right people. It is useful to refer to your employee handbook in this regard. If you feel uncomfortable approaching a superior, you can go directly to the company’s Human Resources. If your rights have been more severely infringed and you have suffered loss as a result of the harassment, you may also want to institute legal action. If this is the case, you should approach a sexual harassment lawyer.
Always remember that sexual harassment or the inappropriate behavior of others is never your fault. However, by setting clear boundaries through the way you act and dress, you can be sure that you are not sending out the wrong message and make sure that any unwanted attention is quickly acknowledged as inappropriate and dies down.