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What can you do if you're harassed in the workplace?

It is hard to live with harassment of any kind, but sexual harassment is one of the most uncomfortable types to deal with. You may feel objectified and victimized easily, worrying about anything and everything you do on the job.

It's a good idea to talk to your employer if you feel you're being sexually harassed on the job. Sexual harassment is a kind of sex discrimination and is illegal thanks to Title VII in the Civil Rights Act.

There are some misconceptions about sexual harassment to know as well as what you can do if you're harassed. Here are a few things to think about.

The person filing a claim doesn't necessarily have to be the one who was harassed

Witnessing harassment is traumatizing as well. Anyone affected by offensive conduct has a right to file a complaint with his or her employer, human resources department or the courts.

Victims can be of either gender

While women are normally the target of harassment, men may be as well. If you're a man who faces harassment on the job and aren't taken seriously by your employer, you may be able to move forward with a legal claim.

Nonemployees can't sexually harass employees

That isn't true. Your employer must protect you against sexual harassment from nonemployees, like third-party sellers or even customers in your place of business.

These are three things to think about with sexual harassment claims. If you are harassed on the job, it's your right to file a complaint. If your employer doesn't take you seriously, you may have a legal case against him or her.

Source: U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, "Facts About Sexual Harassment," accessed May 02, 2018

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