What to do as a victim of sexual harassment in the workplace

DENVER -- During the past two months, men in high-profile positions accused of sexual misconduct have dominated the headlines.

Suddenly, there's a massive spotlight on the issue.

"There's power in numbers and people have that right now," said employee rights attorney Clair Munger of HKM.

She made it clear: Sexual harassment at work is against the law and if you're a victim, speak up.

"One of the first defenses we hear in almost every case is the company says 'I didn't even know it was happening,'" Munger said.

If companies have an employee handbook, follow the procedures in it.

But Munger said overall, people should report the matter to someone in a management position.

She said just as important is to document the incidents of harassment.

"Keep a diary of those incidents," she said. "If you say it to someone in person, put it writing later."

Know your rights

Your employer cannot retaliate against you for making a sexual harassment claim.

"You can't reduce their hours. You can't take away their responsibility. You can't demote them. You can't fire them ... it is illegal," Munger said.

If you want the protection of state law, you must file your complaint with the Colorado Civil Rights Division within six months of the last date of harassment.

If federal protection applies, you must file with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission within 300 days.

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