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How To Handle Unwanted Sexual Advances At Work

So you are at work and just trying to do a good job. The company is paying you to work, it’s not a place to date. However, many times the boss or other employees don’t realize that. So what happens when the boss has other ideas? He wants to engage in a relationship with you and you think he really wants a sexual relationship with you. What if anything can you do? And what should you do? And how do you keep your job, while still rejecting the bosses sexual advances or advances he disguises as non-sexual but you really know they are?

First, you want to make sure you document what is taking place. Keep a journal and make sure you indicate the date, time and what exactly is being said. If there are any people around who can hear what is taking place, write their names down too. A good detailed journal can be very helpful down the road in helping you prove your case. When possible try to send a follow up email to the boss where you can put things in it that help make your journal believable. For example, you can say thanks for stopping by the desk today to discuss project ABC and also thank you for commenting about how nice I looked and asking about taking me to dinner. It took me off guard so I am sorry if I seemed flustered. By putting this in an email, you have proof of what the boss said–unless he emails back and says what they heck are you talking about. If the advances continue go to step two.

Second, reject the sexual advances. Make sure the harasser knows that you have no interest and just want to do your job. You should send the harasser and email, stating that you appreciate his interest in you, but you don’t feel the same way and just want to do your job and nothing more–print and save a copy. If the harasser is sending you text messages keep them. It is even helpful if you reject his advances via text so you have a record of rejecting his advances. If you get any emails, text messages or voice messages from the harasser keep them.

Third, report the conduct to human resources or any other member of management and document this as well. Many times, a person will be subjected to retaliation for reporting sexual harassment. You must be prepared for this and all of the documentation you have will help. Don’t all human resources to sweep the matter under the rug. And make sure you hire a Chicago sexual harassment lawyer. The company will have legal counsel protecting their rights, make sure you do as well.

All of these steps can help you if you need to file a sexual harassment claim with the Illinois Department of Human Rights or the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. A sexual harassment lawyer involved early in the process can help you maximize your rights and remedies. Given the current climate and focus on protecting the rights of women from sexual harassment, most companies pay attention when they get a letter from an employment lawyer on behalf of an employee. Don’t wait until you suffer some negative job action. Contact a lawyer as soon as the harassment begins.

Protect your rights by contacting an Illinois sexual harassment lawyer at the beginning of your employment issues, not at the end. The sooner he gets involved the better off you will be. It is never too early to get in touch and discuss your issues. Don’t let the sexual harassment get to the point where your job is on the line.

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