What You Should Do if You Are Being Sexually Harassed?

Sexual Harassment in the Office What You Should Do if You Are Being Sexually Harassed?Boulder, CO- Even though sexual harassment in the workplace is forbidden by federal and state law, it is still a prevalent problem in the workplace. On average the EEOC receives 30,000 sexual harassment and discrimination complaints. Those are just the complaints lodged with the EEOC and doesn’t account for the thousands of men and women who are harassed and take no action. If you are being sexually harassed, you may not be sure what to do, but we have provided some tips for you to put an end to this inappropriate and hostile behavior.

Don’t Ignore the Harassment

Some people don’t want to stir the pot so to speak, they fear that if they simply tolerate the unwanted touching or off-collar jokes, the problem will eventually go away. This couldn’t be farther from the truth, simply ignoring the problem won’t make the harassment go away, in fact it can encourage the behavior. If you are being harassed and don’t speak up, the harasser may not realize what they are doing is sexual harassment or will think that they can continue to get away with it. Talking about harassment may make you feel uncomfortable, but it is a problem that left unaddressed will only get worse.

Confront the Harasser

Confronting the harasser is an effective way to stop some individuals from continuing with their sexually-charged misconduct. You must tell the individual that their behavior makes you uncomfortable, and it is unwelcome. You may be intimidated by the prospect of confronting a harasser, but it’s the most effective way of making them aware you don’t like it and it puts them on notice that if they continue they face formal discipline. In some cases, harassers may claim that the victim enjoyed or invited the behavior.

File a Formal Complaint

If you’ve told the harasser in no uncertain terms that their touching, jokes or comments are unwanted and they continue to harass you then the only recourse you may have is to file a formal complaint. When you decide to go the formal route, you must first inform a supervisor of the harassment to give them the opportunity to investigate the allegations and take appropriate steps to punish the offender. Should the behavior continue, this also gives you proof that behavior exists.

After informing your employer, if the behavior continues or they failed to take any actions against the harasser, you have two choices, you can file a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission or retain a sexual harassment attorney.

While the EEOC has a good track record of winning sexual harassment and retaliation suits, they have caps on the settlement amounts the victims receive. Sexual harassment attorneys are very effective in winning high dollar settlements on behalf of the victims they represent.

Don’t Fear Retaliation

When questioned about why they don’t report sexual harassment, most victims say they feared doing so would result in retaliation or lead to their dismissal. This, in fact, happens and is a legitimate concern, but is also illegal and, in some cases, easier to prove than the actual sexual harassment. Ignoring sexual harassment over the fear of retaliation just gives the harasser the idea that they can continue to abuse you and other coworkers.

 

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By | 6:27 pm | Categories: Sexual Harassment News | 0 Comments

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