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Sexual harassment is unwelcome or unwanted sexual conduct that is either very serious or occurs frequently. The harasser may be another employee, a supervisor, the company owner or even a customer. The harasser may be male or female. The sexual conduct can be verbal, physical, in writing or in pictures. Illegal sexual harassment creates a hostile or intimidating work place and interferes with an employee’s job performance.

Examples of Sexual Harassment

  • An employee regularly tells his co-worker that he really likes her and wants to go out with her, although she continues to say no. When he is close to her at work, he touches her. One day when they are alone, he tries to kiss her.
  • A supervisor sends an employee messages on Facebook and also text messages telling the employee she will be promoted if she agrees to be his girlfriend. When she refuses, he fires her.

Need to File a Complaint?

If you think you have been the victim of illegal job discrimination or harassment, you can file a complaint, called a charge of discrimination, with EEOC. We may mediate or investigate your charge and take legal action to stop the discrimination or harassment.

You can file a charge with EEOC if you are a job applicant, current employee or former employee; a full-time, part-time, seasonal or temporary employee, regardless of your citizenship or work authorization status.

You may file your charge in person at the nearest EEOC office or by mail. Our services are free.

What You Can Do If you have been Harassed

Tell the harasser to stop. If you don’t feel comfortable confronting the harasser or the conduct does not stop, tell your employer.

Report the harassment to your employer. If your company has a policy on harassment, it should identify who is responsible for handling complaints of harassment. If you are not comfortable talking to that person or your company does not have a harassment policy, talk to your manager or another manager in the company.

Talk to a parent, teacher, guidance counselor, or another trusted adult about the harassment.

Contact EEOC. Our services are free and you do not need a lawyer to file a charge.

Act promptly. Once your employer knows about the harassment, it has a responsibility to stop the harassment. Also, you may not be the only person being harassed by this individual.


Learn more about your employment rights at
You can also call EEOC at 1-800-669-4000 (TTY: 1-800-669-6820)