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Is a co-worker sexually harassing you outside work?

On Behalf of | Feb 21, 2023 | EMPLOYMENT LAW (EMPLOYEE) - Sexual Harassment

Sexual harassment can take many forms, including verbal comments, physical touching and other unwanted behavior. 

While most people are aware of the dangers of sexual harassment in the workplace, it’s also essential to remember that it can happen outside of the workplace and after work hours. If a co-worker is sexually harassing you outside of work, here’s what you need to do:

1. Recognize the sexual harassment

The first step in dealing with sexual harassment is recognizing it. Remember that sexual harassment doesn’t have to be physical to be considered harassment. Any unwanted behavior that makes you feel uncomfortable, intimidated or embarrassed may be considered harassment. This can include comments, gestures, or other forms of communication that are sexual. 

2. Document the behavior

Documenting the behavior can include saving any texts, emails or social media messages that contain the unwanted behavior. It also involves taking notes on conversations or encounters that make you uncomfortable. Having a record of the behavior can be helpful if you decide to take legal action or report the behavior to your employer.

3. Set boundaries

Setting boundaries entails letting the person know that their behavior is unwelcome and that you want them to stop. If you don’t feel comfortable confronting them directly, you can also consider blocking their phone number or social media profiles or taking other steps to limit your contact with them.

4. Report the behavior

If the behavior continues after you’ve set boundaries, or if you don’t feel comfortable confronting the person directly, it may be necessary to report the behavior to your employer. Many organizations have policies in place to deal with sexual harassment, and you may be able to file a complaint with your human resources department. 

Dealing with sexual harassment from a co-worker outside of work can be a challenging and uncomfortable situation to navigate. However, you have the right to work in a harassment-free environment. Therefore, if the sexual harassment persists, consider seeking legal assistance to determine your options.