Dealing with workplace stress takes a toll on everyone, but if you are being sexual harassed, your days at work can be miserable. It's likely that if you are being sexually harassed, you are already beginning to realize that this type of behavior doesn't simply go away. You do have options, but knowing what to do and when to do it is key. Read on for more information about the steps to take to fight sexual harassment.
There are two main types of sexual harassment:
1. Quid Pro Quo is a Latin term that basically translates to "something for something." In this scenario, a supervisor makes unwelcome advances and retaliates when rebuffed by making negative work-related decisions against the victim.
2. Hostile Work Environment is a little more subtle and can include more than one harasser. This is often demonstrated with sexually explicit jokes, remarks, emails, cartoons, etc., as well as repeated requests for dates or sexual favors. This type of behavior can come from coworkers or supervisors.
Steps to Take:
1. Immediately let the harasser know in writing that you are offended by their behavior.
2. Report the behavior in accordance with company guidelines. If no guidelines exist, report it to the harasser's supervisor and to human resources.
3. Begin keeping a notebook of the harassment and your actions.
If the harassment continues or you feel you are being retaliated against for complaining, continue with the following:
4. File with the EEOC (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission) and any of your state's pertinent agencies.
5. Get an attorney. Even if it never becomes necessary to take your employer to court, a professional attorney, like those at Davis George Mook, can assist you in resolving this issue by:
- Writing to your supervisor and co-workers with your complaints.This puts them on notice that you are serious about your complaints and serves as a written record of your efforts to resolve the matter. It also gives them an opportunity to correct their behavior and put in place more stringent training against sexual harassment in the workplace.
- Assisting you in the proper and complete filing of your formal complaint with the EEOC.
- Ultimately representing you in court, if necessary.
It is important to keep in mind that the longer you wait and put up with the harassment, the more difficult it will be to prove that it caused you harm. Waiting until you are fired to get an attorney and begin the complaint process could work against you, since the court might be more skeptical of your complaints once you have been let go.
Contact an attorney as soon as you feel that you are not being taken seriously or if you are being retaliated against. You don't have to be miserable in your job; seek help to get protected against sexual harassment.