A recent poll has found that 33 million US women experienced sexual harassment at work. The recent scandals involving Harvey Weinstein, Kevin Spacey, and Louis CK have kicked off a firestorm and started the viral #metoo movement.
Yet, few people understand the mechanics behind what to do if you have been sexually assaulted. As personal injury attorneys in Florida, we want you to know what steps you should take if you are dealing with unwanted sexual advances while you are at work.
By everything, we mean everything. As soon as someone makes a lewd comment and you get the feeling worse may come, you should make a note of that. If your boss offers you career advancement in return for sexual favors, chances are that it will not be in writing. Still, you can write down the date and time that the incident took place. This will help your case.
The same applies to when you are being treated differently. When a sexist manager gives you less prestigious work because they do not think women can handle it, write that down. Nothing is too small to document or reference.
If you can, reach out and try to find witnesses to the sexual harassment. It is possible that other people have been harmed or have been discriminated against. You may find courage when someone else is by your side. When you can, you should get statements and records from them as well.
It is a good idea to keep these notes out of the reach of the harasser. Do not write your story in a Word document on your company computer, and don’t keep what you wrote at your desk. Preserving what you have in your purse or your briefcase can keep it away from someone else’s prying eyes.
Reporting Sexual Harassment to Your Employer
If you feel comfortable with it, it may be useful to contact your company’s HR department about your struggle. This provides additional documentation to what happened.
Consulting your employee handbook can give you a stronger defense. According to the court case Faragher v. City of Boca Raton, employees need to “take advantage of any preventive or corrective opportunities provided by the employer or to avoid harm otherwise.” If they do not, it is a lot more difficult to hold companies liable. Telling your employer is a critical step to take.
Reporting Harassment to the Authorities
Before you can file a lawsuit, you need to file a formal sexual harassment complaint with the Equal Opportunity Commission. You can file a complaint online. The regulations for filing a complaint are fairly straightforward, and you can find guides for it. This is where your notes come in handy. Keep in mind that you have a time limit. You should file this complaint as soon as you can.
A lot of the media concerning sexual harassment focuses on men discriminating against or making unwanted sexual advances on women. Women can harass men. In addition, legally speaking, men can harass other men and women can harass other women. Many men think that the court will not take their complaint seriously, or that they are less masculine for being harassed. Neither of these is true. If you have been hurt, there is help available.
Filing a Lawsuit
Hiring a lawyer is one of the best ways you can protect your rights. The only way you can make sure justice is done is by suing your employer. When it comes to sexual harassment, sometimes it is better to trust a lawyer. An experienced attorney can make sure that you are receiving the maximum compensation.
The Berman Law Group is taking a stand against sexual harassment. Our team of practical and proficient lawyers makes your case personal to us. We have already helped thousands of people get the justice they deserve. The next success story could be you. Call us today at (800) 883-5206.