Sexual harassment is defined as the unwelcome behavior of a sexual kind. This can include sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, verbal suggestions, and unwanted physical conduct. It is also sexual harassment when these actions are done, and it is implied or explicitly stated that an individual’s employment status is on the line, interfering with work performance or creating a hostile work environment. It is important to point out that these actions are unwelcome which is defined by the victim.
If you or someone you know has been sexually harassed in the workplace, there are specific steps to take.
First, the victim should make known that they are uncomfortable. For some people, they may not realize that their actions are unwelcome and creating a hostile working environment. It gives them an opportunity to change their behavior. If there is no change, then it would be time to follow your company’s sexual harassment policy that is set in place. For most companies, this is to go to your supervisor and let them know. If the person you need to report is your supervisor, it is usually appropriate to go to their supervisor. If the situation is not resolved, you can then file a claim with a proper federal or state agency. For most people that is the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. They will follow up with your company, and if they believe that your complaint is a valid one and they cannot resolve the issue, then they will give you a “right to sue” letter. At this point, you bring a civil lawsuit to address the damages that you suffered. We also suggest that if you find yourself in this situation that you keep a record of the actions, when events happened and what was said. This will help you through your entire process of seeking justice for this matter.
If you feel you would like to talk to a lawyer about any sexual harassment that you have suffered, please call us. We have years of experience of seeking restitution for these cases.