What You Need to Know About Sexual Harassment Cases in the Workplace
If you are experiencing sexual harassment in the workplace, it is vital to be prepared. Knowing how to identify and react to sexual harassment could be the difference in both protecting yourself and ultimately being successful in a lawsuit. Early engagement with an attorney is helpful.
Sexual Harassment Can Take on Many Forms
You may have your own ideas about what sexual harassment is based on what you have read or seen. The key is to know the legal definition of the action. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has a lengthy definition and includes:
- Unwelcome sexual advances
- Requests for sexual favors
- Other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature
Often, conduct that you have been subjected to is illegal, and you may not know. Even comments can be harassment if they create a hostile work environment. If one instance of conduct is bad enough, it alone can be sexual harassment.
Get Advice About Handling the Situation
It is crucial not to go through the awful experience of sexual harassment on your own. As a victim, you need to handle and address the system the right way. Tactics could include:
- Making it clear that the conduct is unwelcome
- Speaking to company management to complain about the situation
- Documenting the harassment that you have experienced
You should not be expected to have all the answers on your own. After all, you have already been plunged into a stressful situation that is not of your own making. When you are caught in the moment, it is hard to know how you should respond and what your own legal obligations are to file a claim. To avoid this uncertainty, consult an attorney when the conduct is occurring.
It’s Not Your Fault
Many sexual harassment victims will instinctively blame themselves for what happened. They will take responsibility for something that somebody else did, and it may keep them from taking the required action. Victims should never blame themselves for the situation. That is exactly what we refer to them as a victim. They should adopt the mentality that they were the one wronged, and they can do something about it thanks to the laws that protect them.
You Should Not Be Afraid
Your employer is legally forbidden from retaliating against you when you come forward as a victim. If they do, they may suffer an even worse fate. The laws protect you when you decide to vindicate your legal rights. Don’t let fear of your employer get in the way of your fight for justice. Standing up for yourself legally can bring difficult times, but it is possible.
Experienced Charleston Employment Lawyers
To learn more about how to handle sexual harassment in your workplace and a possible lawsuit, contact an employment law attorney at The Hopkins Law Firm online, or call us at (843) 314-4202. You do not have to deal with harassment alone.
What should I do if I have been sexually harassed at work?
You should speak with an attorney immediately to learn more about how to handle the situation.
Can I file a lawsuit if I have been sexually harassed?
If you have suffered damages because someone broke the law, they can be made to pay in court.
How should I handle the situation at work?
You should make clear that the conduct is not welcome. If necessary, you should speak with human resources after talking to your lawyer.