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Sexual harassment is about power

There may be few people in California who have not heard the growing reports of those claiming powerful people sexually harassed them on the job. Sexual harassment often begins with inappropriate comments but may escalate into dangerous situations. While such incidents are never the fault of the victim, there may be ways in which employees can prevent or stop the harassment before it creates an unbearable situation.

Asking management to clarify the policies for preventing and dealing with sexual harassment is one way an employee can assert power over a situation. These questions are appropriate during job interviews or while currently employed. Leadership sets the tone for employee behavior, and employees can demand strong leadership from their managers. If employees do not see their leaders making efforts to protect them from harassment, those employees may consider applying for the leadership roles themselves and being part of the change in environment.

When a person is victimized by a harassing superior or co-worker, it may be difficult to speak up since retaliation is always a fear. However, sometimes drawing the line in the sand can be a turning point in a harasser's behavior. Even so, keeping careful documentation of every incident of harassment or retaliation may prove a wise practice in case the situation escalates.

Sexual harassment on the job is never acceptable. When a co-worker or supervisor objectifies an employee, it is often an attempt to demonstrate power over another person. Sometimes the best way to reclaim that power is to contact a California attorney for advice and guidance in determining the alternatives for seeking justice.  

Source: Forbes, "4 Power Moves You Can Make To Stop Workplace Sexual Harassment", Avery Blank, Nov. 21, 2017

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