If Someone Reports Sexual Harassment to You
When someone approaches his or her advisor or superior with a claim of sexual harassment, it is a very serious issue. It has serious consequences and can cause problems throughout the department or group. The most important thing to remember is to take action and treat everyone with respect.
What you can do:
- Take immediate action to prevent the harassment from continuing, because you, as the employer, can be held legally liable if you have knowledge of the harassment and fail to correct it.
- If someone reports harassment to you, take the situation seriously.
- If someone reports they have been sexually harassed, you should not ignore or dismiss it on the grounds the behavior would not have been offensive to you, because if it is offensive to the person being harassed, it may be harassment.
- If someone reports a non-employee has harassed him or her, do not ignore it, but work through it and find a way that could correct the issue.
- Document all of the incidents.
- Let the person being harassed know the steps they can take to rectify the situation. See "Are you being harassed?" for the steps to take.
- Handle the situation discretely and keep every and all discussions confidential.
- Contact the Institutional Equity Office for assistance at (906) 487-3310