When you think of sexual harassment in the workplace, you may initially assume it involves two people of opposite genders — and this is common. Much of the time, female workers are the victims in these situations, while male workers — who may be higher up the corporate ladder — are the perpetrators.
But, as with many things in life, it’s problematic to put things into such concise boxes or to assume that all cases are going to look the same. Sexual harassment is something that the law considers gender-neutral. Not only does this mean that male workers could be harassed or discriminated against by female employers or supervisors, but it also means that harassment could come from someone of the same gender.
What if this happens to you?
If you notice harassment or discrimination, and it impacts your career, your next thought is likely to wonder what you should do about it. The key is to document it as well as you can by:
- Taking notes
- Saving electronic communications
- Making digital and hard copies
- Talking to witnesses
For all of these types of documentation, be very specific. For instance, write down the day and time that the event occurred, what happened before and after, the names of those involved, the names of others who saw it happen and where you were at the time. The more detailed accounts you have, the better. Those details can make or break your case.
Once you’ve started getting your documentation together, take the time to look into all of the legal steps you’ll need to take moving forward.