What to do when addressing sexual harassment in the workplace

BETTENDORF--Attacking sexual harassment head on in the workplace is not as simple as Kathleen Richlen would like.

However, the best advice the Bettendorf Human Resources Director can give is to get in front of the issue as soon as possible.

“The first thing to do if something is bothering you is to say it to the person that is actually doing the…harassment. If a person doesn`t know that they`re bothering you, they don`t know when to stop,” says Richlen.

As more and more cases of sexual harassment come to light across the country, the city of Bettendorf is stepping up to host a public training session to teach people how to identify, respond and avoid sexual harassment in the workplace.

“I`d love to say….do this first, (the next step) but every situation is different,” says Richlen.

She also recommends keeping a record of uncomfortable events.

“It has to be factual so that we can address and investigate the situation,” she says.

If potential victims feel harassed by their boss or by someone high in authority, Richlen advises you seek council from family members, friends and attorneys if needed.

“'If you really feel that it`s interfering with not only your work life but your home life, that maybe a good time to deal with law enforcement or some kind of attorney,” says Richlen.

The city will hold its public training session at the Bettendorf Public Library, November 27th at 7 p.m.