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If either quid pro quo or hostile work environment harassment can be proven, employers may be liable for compensatory (monetary loss, pain and suffering) and punitive damages.
Liability may depend on who committed the harassment (superior or co-worker) and what action the company took to correct it.
If you have this in hand, you'll have documentation of positive past work performance and evaluations in the event that the company retaliates by demoting or transferring you while claiming you have a poor track record.
In these litigious days, the wisest move is to expect the worst (a lawsuit to settle your claim) and prepare accordingly.
The harasser may not even be aware that her/his behavior is offensive, and it is always best to "nip" it in the bud before inappropriate comments or jokes, left unchecked, turn into something uglier.
If you are uncomfortable facing the harasser, write a short letter or email letting her/him know you want the behavior to stop.
Sexual harassment is a form of sex discrimination under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
Equal Opportunity Employment Commission (EEOC) defines workplace sexual harassment as unwelcome sexual advances or conduct of a sexual nature which unreasonably interferes with the performance of a person's job or creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive work environment.At each step, if you don't get the proper response from management, continue escalating the complaint up the chain of command.Write It Down The reason for following company procedures and documenting everything is simple: if you don't follow company procedures and give them a chance to stop the harassment, you will likely lose in court.Human Resources and Supervisors If there is no lessening of the harassment after personal appeals to stop, then escalate your complaint to the next level.Be sure to follow all company protocols dealing with sexual harassment (and document everything to show that you took every action the company recommended).