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What should I know about sexual harassment at work?

Sexual harassment in the workplace is an issue that concerns everyone. If you are a Colorado worker and suspect you are the victim of harassment, knowing the proper steps to take to address the matter is crucial. In many cases, employees lack the proper knowledge to adequately deal with the issue, which can lead to a highly unpleasant and threatening work environment.

U.S. News lists a few important points regarding sexual harassment in the workplace, including your obligations regarding reporting the issue to your supervisor. While some believe that you must report the incident to your direct supervisor, this isn’t always the case. This is especially true if your supervisor is involved in the matter, which can cause significant discomfort. To this end, speak with someone in human resources who can assist you in making a formal statement regarding the incident.

Most workplaces have employee handbooks in place that include sections on harassment and the process for reporting. However, you should remember that applicable local and federal laws may differ from what your employer stipulates. This means that even if a person is not in violation of an actual law (such as by consistently making off-color jokes or statements of a sexual nature), he or she might still run afoul of your workplace’s regulations. 

You should also be aware that your company’s human resource representative must behave in an impartial manner. This usually entails speaking with the person involved in your harassment claim, while also reviewing the work history of all parties. An unbiased investigation is important to prevent any potential defamation suits, while also ensuring an employer has enough evidence to discipline the person accused of harassment when necessary.

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