Are you being sexually harassed at work?

Verbal abuse based on gender and unwanted sexual advances or demands for sexual favors are common forms of sexual harassment in the workplace. It can be physical, like touching or groping, or visual, such as leering or making sexual gestures. Unfortunately, sexual harassment also can take place online, such as sending texts or pictures with explicit sexual content. 

Sexual harassment in the workplace is never okay and happens too often.  However, there are strategies you can use to protect yourself. 

Here are three steps to take if you’ve been sexually harassed at work: 

1. Document the incident.

The first thing you should do if you’re facing sexual harassment is to document the incident.

Write down what happened, when it happened, where it happened, and who was involved. This will help you build a stronger case if you decide to take legal action. Be sure to keep all documents related to the incident, such as emails or text messages between you and the harasser. 

2. Talk to HR.

One of the most important things you can do if you’ve been sexually harassed is to follow your employer’s anti-harassment policy. This likely means you need to report the incident to a supervisor, human resources, or even outside law enforcement. Be as detailed as possible in any report you make and keep copies of all paperwork you submit. 

The advantage to following your employer’s anti-harassment policy is that it can help ensure either that the harassment stops, or if not, that you did everything you could to stop it and thus make your legal claim stronger should you decide to pursue one.

Note that your employer is required by law to investigate all reported incidents and take the appropriate steps to put an end to any form of harassment in their workplace. Acting against workplace harassment also sends a strong message that such behavior won’t be tolerated, which could discourage future harassments from occurring. 

3. Seek legal help.

If you’ve been sexually harassed at work, reach out for help. Contact an experienced employment attorney who can advise you on your next steps. 

An employment attorney can help you negotiate a settlement with your employer, file a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) or your local civil rights agency, or file a lawsuit. Remember, you have options. 

No matter what form sexual harassment takes, it’s never acceptable. There are resources available to help and support you. 

if you’re been sexually harassed at work, it’s important to remember that there are steps you can take to protect yourself.

Give us a call at 973.787.8442 today or schedule a Strategy Session with us, so we can help you before the situation gets worse. 

Please keep in mind that this is general information, not legal advice. And the law may change at any time. 

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