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How to Report Sexual Harassment

Sexual harassment on the job and in a school environment is illegal. Learn what sexual harassment is and how to report incidents to the proper authorities.


  • Step 1: Go to the U.S. Department of Education (DOE) website. Students can file discrimination complaints at the DOE's Office for Civil Rights.
  • Step 2: File a complaint online at EEOC's site. You can also file a complaint in person or by mail at a nearby EEOC field office for more immediate action.
  • FACT: A 1998 Supreme Court ruling declared that sexual harassment laws apply to same-sex harassment.
  • Step 3: Go to EEOC's Fair Employment Practices Agencies page for state anti-discrimination agencies info, including California, Kansas, and Alabama.
  • Step 4: Visit the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) website. Read federal laws that apply to sexual harassment in the workplace. Consider settling sexual harassment claims in lieu of the litigation process through the EEOC's Mediation Program.
  • TIP: If you are physically threatened, call the police in matters of unwanted sexual contact in the workplace.
  • Step 5: Learn about hostile environment harassment, where unwelcome workplace conduct of a sexual nature is constant, persistent, and severe.
  • TIP: In addition to the individual harasser, an employer can be held liable for the hostile environment unless they can prove reasonable care to prevent and correct the harassment.
  • Step 6: Learn the two different types of harassment: quid pro quo harassment, and hostile environment harassment. Quid pro quo involves the harasser using the harassed person's response to unwelcome sexual advances as a basis for employment and workplace decision.

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