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5 important things about sexual harassment you should know

Miscommunication is often a key part of sexual harassment, as it's been shown that many cases occur accidentally. This doesn't mean the law isn't still being broken, of course, but simply that people need more education about sexual harassment. Below are five things people in New Jersey should know.

1. Handbooks and laws can be different.

Your company handbook is a good reference, but there is no promise that it's exactly the same as the law, so be sure you know both.

2. Typing accounts is better than telling someone.

It's wise to talk to someone if you think you're the victim of harassment, but it's even better to put your complaint in writing. This way, you have the account as solid proof in court.

3. You don't have to tell your boss.

The problem with going to your boss is that he or she could be the one who is harassing you, as those in power will sometimes feel they are immune to consequences. You can take legal action without notifying your boss.

4. Employers are supposed to be impartial throughout the process.

When you do make a complaint, the company is supposed to carry out an impartial investigation of your claims, no matter who you name and what positions you both hold.

5. An internal investigation may be the first step, but it's not the only one.

If the investigation is done and you don't think it is fair or impartial, or you disagree with the result, don't give up. Make sure you know all of the other legal options that you have in New Jersey, beyond the company's own investigation.

Source: US News, "6 Things to Know About Workplace Sexual Harassment," Jada A. Graves, accessed Oct. 14, 2015

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