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Steps to take when sexual material is seen at work

You don't expect to be exposed to sexually explicit material in your workplace. However, despite the policies in place by your employer, some employees may ignore the rules. Should you come across sexually explicit material at work, you need to handle the situation appropriately. The following tips may be helpful.

Be sure to document as much information about the incident as possible. This includes the name of the employee who viewed or displayed the explicit video or pictures, the department where they work, the location where the incident occurred and anything else to support your claim.

You then need to inform human resources or the employee's direct supervisor about what happened. If you feel comfortable enough, take a picture of the employee viewing the explicit material. This will establish that they were viewing sexual material in the workplace.

Refer to the company policy outlining the use of company property to view sexually explicit material. Make sure you reference the rules when speaking to a supervisor or member of human resources so that this incident is not simply brushed under the rug.

The person viewing sexual material at work for all to see is sexually harassing everyone around them, whether they mean to do so or not. You have the right to be protected from exposure to obscene material in the workplace, just as your employer has the responsibility to prohibit these exposures.

The steps outlined in this post can help you report seeing sexually explicit material while on the job. You don't have to put up with this form of harassment from any of your co-workers, supervisors or others who are in the office.

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