DEAR HARRIETTE: My boss constantly hits on me, and it makes me extremely uncomfortable. I don't want to risk losing my job by complaining, but he's becoming too much. He's starting to do it in front of others, and it makes me not want to come in to work most days. I live alone, and I have to pay my bills, so I don't really know how to handle it. I know it may sound strange, but HR at my company is a joke -- they’ve failed to get people fired for much more. What should I do? -- Creepy Boss
DEAR CREEPY BOSS: I spoke to an attorney about this subject and learned a few things about how to protect yourself in this situation. First, know that HR at any company is there to protect the company -- not you. You are right not to go to them to help you before seeking outside counsel. Explain your situation to an employment attorney. Gather as much evidence as you can to illustrate what has been happening to you. That includes noting any witnesses who may have observed his behavior. With that information, you can go to HR and state your case.
Yes, confronting your boss can put you in a vulnerable position. But your letter suggests that you are already in such a position. Now you need to strategize for what happens next. With your attorney, you can push back and try to get him to be held accountable for his actions. You should also start looking for a new job in case it becomes too hostile at your current workplace. But having an attorney will buy you time because now you will have protection.