Understanding Your Rights If You Are Sexually Harassed at Work
It is unlawful for a person to harass another person based on their sex. Under certain circumstances, an employer may be held liable if their employee is sexually harassed at work. It is essential to consult with an attorney to take the appropriate steps to stop the discrimination and hold those responsible accountable for their wrongdoing.
At Schlachman, Belsky, Weiner, & Davey, P.A., we represent individuals who have been sexually harassed at the workplace. Sexual harassment is a pervasive problem at job sites throughout the United States. Today, more people than ever are coming forward with harrowing experiences of sex-based discrimination.
If you have been sexually harassed at your workplace, contact our office at (410) 685-2022 for a free, confidential consultation.
What Is Sexual Harassment?
Sexual harassment can encompass any verbal or physical harassment that is sexual in nature. In cases where the harassment is frequent and severe enough to create a hostile work environment, an employer may be held legally responsible. Additionally, a person may have a case against their employer if the harassment results in them being demoted or fired.
Examples of sexual harassment in the workplace include:
- Unwanted sexual advances
- Lewd or offensive comments
- Discriminatory remarks
- Requesting sexual favors
- Derogatory jokes
It is important to come forward with any allegations of sexual harassment. Write down precisely what is said and done, as well as who you reported the abuse to. You should never have to work in an unsafe or hostile environment.
Reporting Sexual Harassment
Studies indicate that sexual harassment in the workplace often goes unreported. Many victims are afraid of retaliation for coming forward, particularly when the abuse is perpetrated by a superior.
Steps for reporting work-based sexual harassment:
- Report the harassment to your company. Review your company’s policy regarding reporting sexual harassment and discrimination. You may need to file a complaint with human resources or report it to your supervisor.
- Report it to a government agency. State and federal laws protect individuals from being harassed at work. You can report harassment to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) or directly to a state agency.
- File a lawsuit against your employer. Depending on the circumstances of the case, you may need to file a lawsuit against your employer.
If you are being sexually harassed at work, you should contact an attorney as soon as possible. An experienced sexual abuse attorney can help determine how you should move forward with the allegations.
Proving Allegations of Sexual Harassment
Too often, victims of sexual harassment and abuse do come forward. They are silenced out of fear of not being believed or retaliation.
First and foremost, it is important to know that you deserve to be heard. Your story needs to be told. Reporting sexual harassment in the workplace not only helps hold individuals accountable, but it can help change the culture that allowed it to continue to happen.
How an Attorney Can Help
An attorney may ask you questions about whether you knew of others who experienced harassment or unwanted sexual advances. They may inquire whether leadership knew about the abuse and did nothing.
It is usually critical to show that the harassment did not just occur once but rather was consistent (pervasive) with no consequences or that it directly affected your performance. There are tight deadlines for reporting allegations of harassment or sexual discrimination, so it is vital to discuss your case with an attorney as early in the process as possible.
Sexual Assault at the Workplace
Sexual harassment can be verbal, but it may also be physical. When harassment involves any form of unwanted or unwelcome touching of a sexual nature, it is considered sexual assault and cannot be tolerated. When sexual harassment becomes physical, it should immediately be reported to law enforcement.
Did You Experience Sexual Harassment in the Workplace?
If you have been the victim of sexual harassment or assault at your job, contact our office at (410) 685-2022 for a free, confidential consultation. Discuss your case directly with an experienced attorney. Get the compassionate, dedicated advocacy you deserve. Call today to get started.