The first thing to do – and the most obvious – is to ask the harasser to stop. Second, if that fails you, complain to your employer and document everything. Indeed, if you want at some point to bring a lawsuit, the more documentation you have, the more likely you will succeed. Document your complaint procedure to the top – and if the harassment continues, complain to every relevant person – your supervisor, the harasser’s supervisor, your HR department, anyone in a position of authority at your company. Be assertive! And if it’s your supervisor that is doing the harassing, go to his or her supervisor. And while you are doing all the complaining, collect evidence through your own notes, emails, letters, photocopies of offensive material, from other witnesses, etc.
And, remember this important detail: If you are disciplined or treated unfairly because of your complaints, you can always file a lawsuit for retaliation.
Should your complaints fail to produce results, you may be left only with legal recourse. In this situation, you first should file a claim with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, which will then decide whether or not to give you a “right to sue” letter. And, importantly, if it gets this far, get yourself a lawyer. You’ll need it.