Sexual harassment at the workplace occurs more frequently than most employers would like to admit. Unfortunately, it is also a difficult accusation for an employee to prove. Typically, there are only two people present when an incident happens, which often makes it a case of “he said she said”.
However, that doesn’t mean you should allow these challenges to stop you from reporting an episode. You may be emboldening your supervisor or co-worker by remaining silent on the incident.
Identifying Workplace Sexual Harassment
Sexual harassment is legally recognized as a type of sex discrimination. Every company has their own policy regarding sexual harassment and the various conduct or actions that can be construed as harassment. Typically, this includes unwelcome sexual or romantic advances, requests for sexual favors, and verbal and physical gestures. Few supervisors may also result in Quid Pro Quo harassment, which translates to “this for that”.
You don’t need to be harassed by the employer or supervisor to seek protection under the law. Sexual harassment claims can be triggered by the actions of a third party and colleague as well. You should consider searching for “sexual harassment lawyers near me” if you want help with identifying sexual harassment.
Look For Sexual Harassment Lawyers Near Me Before Reporting
Get in touch with a sexual harassment attorney before you approach the HR department with your complaint. Your attorney will navigate the process for you and discuss all your legal options. There are several lawyers that offer free initial consultations for victims to assess their options. In most cases, the lawyer will advise you to speak with the HR about workplace harassment.
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Sometimes, this is enough to put an end to the harassment. However, if the problem continues, you should make sure that you use appropriate channels. Employers are not under any compulsion to fire any employee that resorts to sexual harassment unless it is mentioned in their company policy.
In addition, you may not have access to the type of disciplinary action, if any, taken against the perpetrator. However, you do have a right to put an end to the harassment so that you can perform your job responsibilities without being threatened or feeling victimized.
Proving Sexual Harassment at Workplace
Your sexual harassment attorney will work with you on this aspect. It is important that you maintain a written record of every occurrence of the harassment. This is to show that you are taking things very seriously. It will also help you identify important details, like time, date, and the extent of harassment, which you may forget later.
Make sure you save everything that the harasser sends you, such as emails, text messages, or written notes. If possible, make a recording of sordid phone calls when the harasser calls you. You can also make note of the times you were treated differently from other co-workers or singled out.
Your notes, documents, emails, and texts are vital evidence. You should keep these in a safe place even if you find it difficult to read or keep. They serve as undeniable proof that you were a victim of sexual harassment.