If you were or currently are the victim of workplace sexual misconduct or harassment, you may be overwhelmed and scared of what might happen if you take steps to seek justice. The legal process alone can be formidable, and the thought of suffering repercussions daunting. There is help out there though, and if you know the proper steps to take justice can be achieved, which can help you move on.
Whether the person who is victimizing you is a boss, a colleague, a client or even a subordinate, here are the top steps that you can take. See more here:
Do not ignore the harassment
If you believe that you are the victim of sexual harassment in the workplace, the worst thing that you can do is ignore it or downplay it. Studies have shown that harassers do not change their behavior simply because they are not getting a reaction out of their victim or victims. In fact, it could make it worse as they continue to do more and more to try to get a reaction out of you.
Make it clear that their conduct is unwelcome
In no uncertain terms, you have to speak to your assailant firmly. There is no special way to do this or secret password, the truth is that you have to make it as simple and clear to them as possible that what they are doing is unwanted and will be face action by you if it is continued.
Whether your plan on filing a suit now in the future, make sure that you are keeping diligent notes of interactions with your assailant, what has been said or done, if any unwelcome touching has taken place and anything else related to the incident(s). You will also want to keep in mind that wherever you are keeping notes or correspondences, to do it on your personal property if possible. The reason for that is because communications using company equipment are not confidential and can be used against you.
Report the conduct
When the time has come, report the sexual harassment or misconduct in the workplace. First off, you will have to allow your employer to correct the problem and make the harassment stop. While it might be hard and uncomfortable, this is a necessary step in the process toward positive change, or if you plan on filing a lawsuit in the near future.
Don’t quit your job
Sexual harassment is against the law and you do not have to endure it in the workplace or anywhere else. If your employer is not taking the necessary steps to make you feel safe, that is not a sign that you should quit your job just to avoid the horrible situation. It is a sign that you should fight back.
Contact a lawyer
If you are still facing harassment after asking your employer to resolve the situation, it is time to hire a lawyer and file a legal complaint. There are lawyers that specialize in workplace harassment representation and can help guide you through the process.