Sexual harassment can turn a dream job into a nightmare in an instant. Where you once felt great about going to work, you now face great anxiety. You have the right to work without fear of being harassed by a boss, peer, or client. In fact, companies are required to protect their employees from these hostile environments. Carter Law Firm specializes in harassment law and offers these tips to potential victims.
Understand Your Company Policy
While you know what unwanted advances feel like, you must know how to report them. What is the company policy? This policy should be readily available in the office, and your company should have disclosed it to you when you started working. Some employment manuals require alleged victims to report incidents to their superiors. But that may not always be the best choice – especially if the superiors are the accused. You may have to go to a different supervisor and most likely someone in human resources. If you don’t report your claim as required you could be squandering your potential claim.
Document What Has Happened
To help reduce a potential “he said, she said” conflict take notes. Be specific in the encounters that made you feel uncomfortable, providing as many details as possible. It is important that you have details like date, time, location, and whether any other co-workers were around. Witnesses can be critical to your claim if they can confirm the illegal behavior. The more you document the better information your company will have as to whom to interview when and if they conduct the investigation.
Try to Continue Working
If the work environment isn’t dangerous try to remain a competent and dutiful employee. Some employees who feel that they are victims of harassment are so uncomfortable and embarrassed that they quit. This can open the door for the employer to claim that the victim was actually an incompetent employee, not the victim of harassment. Also, reporting the behavior shouldn’t change your employment status. You have a right to a nuisance-free workplace, and your company cannot retaliate against you for reporting your experience.
Consult With an Attorney
It can be confusing and traumatic to be the victim of sexual harassment. It also can be tough figuring out whether or not an employer is properly investigating a claim. Having an experienced legal team can help determine if you are a victim, whether or not the company needs to make changes in policy or personnel, or whether the company is liable for your mistreatment.
Sexual harassment is only one form of discrimination protected by law. If you believe you have been the victim of unlawful discrimination, contact the Carter Law Firm today to right those wrongs.