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SEXUAL HARASSMENT

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1. The letter of the law might be different from the wording in your employee handbook. Workplace harassment isn’t specifically addressed in Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which protects employees and job seekers against discrimination on the basis of sex, race, color, national origin and religion. But the U.S. Supreme Court has interpreted harassment that’s “sufficiently severe or pervasive” and that creates a hostile working environment as a violation of that federal law.

2. The first thing to do is speak up, or better, type it up. If someone made you feel uncomfortable, the first person to speak to about it is the co-worker who made you feel that way. It’ll be awkward, but there’s a possibility he or she doesn’t realize the error and the issue can be squashed. Just make sure to have this conversation in writing. “If you have an email that confirms what’s transpired, that’s better,”

3. You have other options if an internal investigation is unsatisfactory. If you’re displeased with the results of your company’s investigation, or if your employer didn’t take what you feel to be appropriate steps to address your claim, you could consult with an employment attorney.

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