How Should Human Resources Handle a Sexual Harassment Claim?

SPRINGFIELD, Massachusetts. According to the U.S. Equal Opportunity Employment Commission, sexual harassment can include unwelcome sexual advances, unwanted requests for sexual favors, verbal or physical harassment, offensive comments, or retaliation for reporting any unwanted behavior. Sexual harassment can include harassment from managers, co-workers, and even clients or customers.
Yet, knowing what constitutes sexual harassment and knowing what to do about it are two very different things. What should you do if you’re facing sexual harassment? According to CNN Money, one lawyer claims that the first call shouldn’t be to human resources, but rather, to your attorney. Dinsmore Stark: Attorneys at Law are sexual harassment lawyers in Springfield, Massachusetts who can take a look at your situation, your case, and help you understand local and federal laws, and your next steps.
Most companies have procedures in place for reporting sexual harassment. In many cases, women are encouraged to report sexual harassment to Human Resources. Yet, some women face retaliation, vilification, and other consequences when they do so. In some cases, HR does nothing to stop the harassment and in the worst cases, women face consequences and even wrongful termination. Unfortunately, some companies are reluctant to punish top employees.
Workers should be able to expect good follow-through from their Human Resources departments when they make a complaint. Unfortunately, many workplaces prioritize avoiding litigation for sexual harassment above protecting women in the workplace.
According to Mic, women may be called complacent if they don’t report the harassment right away, or if they don’t formally ask the perpetrator to stop. Women and their harassers may have to attend mediation sessions, which could put women face-to-face with their harassers. And, unfortunately, in many cases, the harasser may not be fired, meaning that women may still have to work with the person who made them uncomfortable.
Even though it can be difficult to fight a case of workplace sexual harassment, more women are choosing to come forward. Coming forward is important if a harasser in the workplace is to be stopped. For instance, after a New York Times report ousted Bill O’Reilly’s quiet settlements with women who allegedly faced harassment, consequences soon followed. According to Glamour, at least 60 advertisers pulled their sponsorship from the O’Reilly Factor. And, after an Uber worker made allegations of a culture of systemic harassment, the company also faced bad press.
As more companies become aware that sexual harassment will not be tolerated by employees and that failing to take action has real consequences, more women will be protected on the job. If you’ve faced sexual harassment, if you feel that HR did not or is not protecting you, or if you’re facing wrongful termination or consequences after reporting harassment, visit http://dinsmorestark.com today to learn more about your rights. We can help you fight back, while protecting your reputation and career. The law protects individuals reporting sexual harassment, but not all HR departments follow through. Don’t suffer in silence.

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