No one deserves to be the victim of workplace harassment. If you have been the target of such behavior, you may wonder if it is time to call an attorney or what your options are.
In some instances, you might receive a proposition from a coworker, or they might begin to make you uncomfortable because of their sexual innuendos and comments. However, you’re in an industry where you really love your job, and the paycheck is more than enough for your needs. Making waves at work might affect your career, so what should you do next?
The best course of action is to seek legal counsel if you find yourself getting harassed at work. You might want to know how the law defines inappropriate advances through workplace harassment attorneys, how you can gather evidence, how you can report, and how you can protect yourself in the future. Here are other things that you should know about.
What is Workplace Harassment?
Workplace harassment is a form of discrimination that occurs when an employee is subjected to unwelcome sexual conduct from another individual in a job environment. This type of behavior can include but is not limited to, physical or verbal conduct that’s considered sexual in nature, assault, and verbal transgressions that create a very offensive environment at work.
In some instances, the harassment does not generally include minor isolated incidents, simple teasing, and offhand comments. However, this is considered illegal when assault and sexual innuendos become so severe that they have resulted in an adverse employment decision, such as a demotion or quitting. Learn more about managing co-workers that cause others to resign on this page.
If you believe you are being harassed at work, it is important to take action immediately. You should first speak to your supervisor or human resources department about your concerns. If the problem still needs to be resolved at this level, you may need to consult with an experienced lawyer about what to do next. An attorney can help you understand your rights and options under the law and can protect your interests throughout the legal process.
Signs to Know About
If you are the victim of workplace harassment, you may feel scared, threatened, or intimidated by your coworkers or boss. You may also experience a hostile work environment where you feel unwelcome or uncomfortable. Some signs that you should look out for are the following:
- Unwanted physical contact such as touching, hugging, or kissing
- Inappropriate sexual comments or jokes
- Threats or violence
- Belittling comments
If you are experiencing any of these signs, you must contact an experienced attorney who can help protect your rights. This can prevent an assault from taking place, and they can help you get the compensation that you might be entitled to if your employer has acted illegally. Read more signs in this link here: https://www.businessinsider.com/signs-of-sexual-harassment-in-the-workplace-2017-11.
Filing a Complaint
There are various things that you can do to file a complaint. However, speaking with the offender first is best if you feel safe doing so. You need to know the intention behind their actions and request them to stop. If they continue their offensive behavior and don’t adhere to your request, this can be used as evidence that the victim was harmed by their actions. It’s best to do the following before reporting the incident:
- Record the event
- Find a witness or someone who has experienced sexual harassment at work themselves
- Informing the manager or supervisor about the behavior
- Reporting to HR if the behavior does not stop
If the report filed to the human resource department was ineffective, the one being bullied can file a complaint to various government agencies like the EEOC, which will be able to hold the company responsible if their investigation proves that the allegations were true. Many businesses were forced to change their policies to prevent instances of sexual harassment in the future.
After these steps are taken, the employee can proceed to file a lawsuit after they have exhausted all administrative remedies with the company. This simply means that when there’s no help forthcoming from the employer, go directly to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission or the federal state equivalent in one’s country if there’s harassment.
If the individual is working in a small business and the owner or the principal is involved, the next step is to file a state or federal complaint outside of the company. The agency will then investigate to seek evidence and establish proof that a violation occurred, and they can also help the employee file the appropriate charges.
When to Call a Lawyer
If the government agency finds insufficient evidence, the employee can then proceed to file a lawsuit and find the right lawyer to know their rights. With a professional attorney, they will know if the case is worth pursuing in the first place.
Sometimes, the agency’s findings are not even admissible to the court and are not binding. Others need to do exhaustive research and investigate the incident. They generally do interviews, but there are no cross-examinations and depositions.
In some instances, the Department of Justice might even get involved, but this is only for a limited number of cases. They do this when they want to set a nationwide example of particular harassment or when a very large corporation is involved, and the discrimination is very serious and rampant.
How Can the Attorney Help?
If you feel you are being harassed at work, an attorney can help you determine whether the behavior is illegal and advise you on your options for action. See more info if you really need a lawyer on this website.
The lawyer can also help you file a complaint with your employer or file a lawsuit if necessary. If you win your case, you may be entitled to compensation such as lost wages, compensatory damages, and punitive damages.
If you believe you are the victim of workplace harassment, it is important to know when to seek legal help. An experienced sexual harassment lawyer can advise you on your options and help you decide whether or not to file a complaint. If you choose legal action, the lawyer can represent you throughout the process and fight for the best possible outcome. Don’t wait to get help if you’re being harassed at work, and make sure to call an attorney today.