Feeling sexually harassed at work?

Feeling sexually harassed at work? Experiencing racial, age, gender or disability-based harassment? The first step, advises employment lawyer Patricia Barasch, is a common-sense one. Tell the person doing the harassment to stop.

Barasch is a partner in Schall & Barasch in Moorestown and the president of the National Employment Lawyers Association, an organization specializing in representing individuals at the workplace.

Patricia Barasch

Barasch said the message needs to be clear. Once you have decided you want the behavior to stop, you can't pretend it's OK or a joke. "You have to be unambiguous and clear that you want the behavior to stop. You have to tell him to stop," she said.

At the same time, you need to document the behavior. Keep a journal, keep it dated and put in as many details as possible. "Keep a journal," Barasch said. "Write what happened, what you've done and what the response has been."

The next step is to consult your employee handbook. If you don't have one, "ask for a copy of the policy and follow the policy," she said.

"If harassment persists," she said, "you should take it to the next level and file a complaint."

At the same point, she said, "be selective about what you complain about if it is something minor. But if it's not you should pursue it." 

You can read my profile of Barasch by clicking here, plus two other advise blog posts, by clicking here and here.