Experiencing sexual harassment while at work can put employees under tremendous stress. Some victims may be afraid to come forward, and the choice to take action against a harasser can often be the most difficult step. No one should be made to feel unsafe in his or her work environment, and it is essential that employees know their rights. While you may feel intimidated or powerless in this type of situation, employees have legal protections against sexual harassment and employer retaliation. Below, my blog discusses what to do in the event that you experience workplace sexual harassment.
What to do if you have experienced sexual harassment:
- Gather evidence: Document the inappropriate conduct. Be sure to note the date that an incident occurs, as well as what happened. Also be sure to take note of anyone who may have been present when the harassment occurred. Documentation is important in order to substantiate your claim with the harasser’s supervisor or your company’s Human Resources Department. Indeed, once you report the sexual harassment, your employer is going to ask for details, including the dates that the conduct occurred, what conduct the harasser engaged in, and whether there were any witnesses.
- File a complaint with your company: Many companies take claims of sexual harassment very seriously and have detailed steps on how to report an incident. While typically handled by Human Resources, in cases where companies do not have formal procedures, speak to a supervisor or manager who is not involved in the harassment. Unless the harasser is your Supervisor, the company will not be liable for his or her harassment unless you notify your employer of the inappropriate conduct, and thereafter fails to take appropriate actions.
- Speak to an attorney: If complaining about the harassment does not solve the problem, it may be time to get an attorney involved. A lawyer who is familiar with sexual harassment and employment law can help you take the appropriate legal action. If you have been sexually harassed in the workplace, your employer may be responsible for the harm it caused.
Employees have rights under federal and state law which protect them from sexual harassment as well as retaliation. It is against the law for employers to punish employees for opposing or reporting sexual harassment. If you believe that you are being subjected to retaliation, an attorney can hold your employer responsible for its actions.
STOP WORKPLACE SEXUAL HARASSMENT – CALL
At Pimentel Law, we know that you may be fearful confronting your harasser or of retaliation. However, understand that employees like yourself are protected under federal and state law, and that your employer is prohibited from punishing you for reporting sexual harassment. Pimentel Law knows your rights, and can help you put a stop to sexual harassment and/or retaliation.
Schedule a confidential consultation and talk to an attorney about your situation.