I started a new job a few months ago, and I love what I do. Everyone in the office is very nice, and I feel like I have finally found a career that I am excited to stay in for the long term. The issue is that one of my coworkers is inappropriate. She has asked me several times, both directly and indirectly, if I was gay. She also makes jokes about gays and sex and other inappropriate things. In the beginning, her and I got a long very well, but I feel like she is being too invasive. I don’t want to get anyone in trouble, but I find myself avoiding any contact with her at work, which is hard because we work in the same department. Is there any way to handle this without causing a big stink? Please help.
That is harassment, plain and simple. At this point, if you are uncomfortable, you should not be concerned about getting her in trouble or not. This needs to be addressed. You absolutely should be contacting either HR, your supervisor or both. In today’s world, most jobs immediately educate their employees on harassment, and even if that was not the case, it is simply unprofessional and inappropriate. Anytime another person causes you to feel as if you are working in a hostile environment, you are completely justified to take actions to stop this. There are laws in place to protect you, and please make sure that you put all communications in writing.