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What Should I Do if I Witness Sexual Harassment at Work?

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A South Jersey Sexual Harassment Lawyer at The Gold Law Firm P.C. Will Safeguard Your Rights

Sexual harassment in the workplace is a serious issue that affects not only the recipients but also those who witness such behavior. Understanding your role and responsibilities as a bystander can help create a safer work environment. This guide provides clear steps on what to do if you witness sexual harassment, emphasizing the importance of taking action.

Recognize the Behavior

Sexual harassment encompasses a wide range of unwelcome behaviors, including:

  • Inappropriate jokes
  • Unwanted physical contact
  • Suggestive comments
  • Display of offensive materials

It is crucial to recognize these actions as unacceptable. Identifying the behavior as harassment is the first step in addressing the issue.

Document the Incident

If you witness sexual harassment, document the incident with as much detail as possible. Note the date, time, location, individuals involved, and any witnesses. This documentation can be vital in supporting the recipient should they decide to report the harassment. Remember, maintaining the confidentiality of this information is paramount.

Offer Support

Approach the recipient in a private and safe setting. Express your concern and offer your support. Let them know you witnessed the harassment and are willing to help. However, respect their decision on how to proceed and whether they report the incident. Your role is to support, not to pressure.

Report the Incident

Familiarize yourself with your employer’s policies on reporting sexual harassment. Most organizations have specific procedures for filing a complaint. Encourage the recipient to report the incident, but consider reporting it yourself, especially if the recipient feels unable or unwilling to do so. Reporting the behavior can initiate steps to address and prevent further incidents.

Seek Guidance

If you are unsure how to proceed or your employer does not adequately address the situation, seek guidance from a legal professional. Employment law firms, such as The Gold Law Firm P.C., handle cases of workplace harassment and can provide advice on the best course of action.

Advocate for a Safe Work Environment

Advocating for policies and training aimed at preventing sexual harassment is essential. Encourage your employer to adopt comprehensive policies that clearly define unacceptable behaviors and establish protocols for reporting and addressing complaints. A proactive approach to prevention can contribute to a culture of respect and safety.

Understand Your Rights and Responsibilities

As a witness to sexual harassment, you have both rights and responsibilities. You have the right to report the incident without fear of retaliation. You are also responsible for acting in a manner that supports the victim and contributes to a respectful workplace. Understanding these rights and responsibilities ensures that you can effectively contribute to addressing and preventing sexual harassment.

A South Jersey Sexual Harassment Lawyer at The Gold Law Firm P.C. Will Safeguard Your Rights

Witnessing sexual harassment can place you in a challenging position. However, recognizing the behavior, documenting the incident, offering support, reporting the behavior, seeking legal guidance, advocating for a safe work environment, and understanding your rights and responsibilities are crucial steps in addressing the issue. Speak with a South Jersey sexual harassment lawyer at The Gold Law Firm P.C. today. Call 215-569-1999 or contact us online to schedule your free consultation. With offices in Philadelphia and Pennsauken, New Jersey, we proudly serve clients in South Jersey, including Cherry Hill, Haddonfield, Marlton, Moorestown, and Mount Laurel.

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