Sexual Harassment in the workplace is serious business. Not only can it make you feel uncomfortable, it can result in long-lasting emotional turmoil for victims. Fortunately, the law provides a way for you to stop this behavior from happening and fight for your rights if your employer fails to do anything to help. However, there are a few important things you need to know before you embark on your journey towards justice.
Whether you realize it or not, there is a step-by-step process to fighting for your rights when it comes to Sexual Harassment in the workplace. Though your emotions may make you want to take your employer straight to court, you must make sure that you do the following first:
- Confront the harasser and ask them to stop the offending behavior in a clear and direct manner. If this makes you uncomfortable or you are fearful that they may retaliate, you may skip this step and proceed to the next step.
- Report the offensive behavior to a supervisor using the procedures that your company has laid out in their employee handbooks. Because the law requires this step to be completed, you will most likely lose your case if you skip it.
- Collect any evidence you may have of the harassment. This could include emails, photographs, or even detailed accounts of verbal incidents.
- File a complaint with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in your state. If no resolution is reached after this step, you may want to consider filing a lawsuit.
While this process may seem complicated, it is necessary in order to make sure that every possible route to resolution is explored before your case goes to court. However, it is important to realize that navigating this process can seem intimidating, and this is where having a lawyer on your side can really help. Your attorney can help you think clearly, advise you about any evidence you should be collecting, correctly file your complaint with the EOCC, and handle your case from start to finish should you reach the trial phase.
Although sexual harassment may make you feel confused, angry, and isolated, you need to know that you are not alone in fighting for your rights. With the help of a good lawyer, you’ll be able to give yourself the best chance of getting the justice that you truly deserve.
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