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New to the Workplace? Two Tips to Help You Handle Sexual Harassment

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If you've just gotten your first job, you may not be aware that sexual harassment is a real risk in the workplace.  A recent poll showed that 1 in 4 women and 1 in 10 men experience sexual harassment at work, so it's definitely not uncommon.  Because you're embarking on your first work experience, you may not know how to handle sexual harassment if it happens to you. Use this information to learn two tips that can help you know what to do if you happen to experience sexual harassment on your new job.

Carefully Document Each Event

The first thing you want to do is carefully document each and every instance of sexual harassment. It's best if you are able to gives exact dates and times to the court system in the event that you need to file a lawsuit.

For example, you may be called into the office to speak with a superior. The meeting may have highly sexual overtones that make you feel very uncomfortable. The moment you return back to your office or section of the building, write down the day of the week, the calendar date and the time of the meeting. Write down the name of the person that you had the meeting with and detail what was said and how you felt. This is vital information to have because you don't want to just rely on your memory in case you need to give a deposition.

Also, if the harassment comes by way of emails, text messages, or voice mails, be sure to keep every last one of them. If necessary, create a separate file on your computer that you save to an external device, and then keep the device with you.

Read the Company Handbook So You Can Report Correctly

The key to getting your sexual harassment dealt with properly is to report it to the right person.  You want to report the incident the first time it happens, but you need to know who to report it to.

Some places of employment advise that you report harassment to the human resources department, while others have a designated person on staff who discretely handles sexual harassment cases.  Avoid talking to various co-workers in the office, since this could be seen as gossip. Reporting to the right person is the key to getting results.  

If the harassment becomes very severe and your place of employment isn't handling it, you may need to contact a sexual harassment attorney to help you with the case. Go into your new job armed with this information so you can know how to effectively deal with sexual harassment.