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How long should you wait to complain about harassment?

You were starting your first day of work when you met the person who would be training you. They were nice to you, and you felt comfortable asking questions and getting to know your position.

Then, at lunch, you overheard something you wished you wouldn't have. They were talking to another new co-worker about how hot you were and how they'd like to "mess around" with you. The other person laughed at how you were only hired for your looks.

You couldn't believe that this was happening; you just started, and it was totally inappropriate sexual commentary. Now what do you do?

Don't wait to make a complaint

If you're sure that what was said was about you, it's time to make a complaint. You can talk to the people who were talking about you directly, but it is better for most people to go to the human resources department to report the issue. You may think you're making waves since it's only your first day, but the reality is that this kind of behavior isn't acceptable at any time. If you are uncomfortable, you need to speak up.

If this behavior does continue more than that day and after HR talks to those responsible, you should report it again. There is a chance that you could be retaliated against and lose your job or be moved to a different department, but those actions are illegal. You have a right to work in a safe environment, and you may have a case if it's not provided to you after you've made an effort to have the situation corrected.

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