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Addressing harassment at work can be a delicate matter

Dealing with a difficult situation at work can sometimes be more complicated than people would like. Unlike dealing with issues in other settings, you and other California workers likely worry about the consequences that could affect your career if one does not handle a predicament in the best manner possible. You may consider yourself someone who does not like to cause trouble, but you also want to stand up to wrongdoing.

For you, standing up to harassment in the workplace may have become a personal endeavor. You may have experienced harassment yourself or witnessed it happening to a co-worker. In either case, you want to do what is right and bring the harassing actions to an end.

Confronting the issue

As mentioned, many workplace scenarios can seem delicate to handle. You do not want to step on anyone's toes, make false accusations or cross any boundaries that could upset the work environment. However, someone else has already done some of these things by being a harasser. No one should have to work in a hostile work environment, and you may want to work toward getting the environment back to a healthy one.

First, you may want to confront the harasser about the situation. Your explanation of the situation, why it makes you uncomfortable and why it needs to stop could bring attention to the harasser's actions in a way that makes him or her understand that the actions are inappropriate. Of course, if the person has harassed you, you may not feel entirely comfortable with direct confrontation.

Going to a supervisor

You do not have to put yourself in harm's way or open yourself up to more harassment in order to stop the actions. You can speak with a supervisor to file a complaint about the issue. He or she may take steps to investigate the matter or direct you to the company's policy for reporting harassment on the job. In the latter case, you can follow the instructions in the policy to file your complaint with the appropriate parties.

In a best-case scenario, your complaint would lead to an investigation that would, in turn, cause the harassment to stop. However, not all employers handle complaints appropriately. If you believe your employer did not take the proper measures to follow up on your complaint and the harassment continued, you may have reason to take legal action.

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