What is Sexual Harassment?
Sexual harassment refers to any unwanted sexual advances, requests or favors for sexual intimacy, and any verbal or physical conduct that is sexual in nature that creates an hostile or offensive work environment. Sexual harassment is not the same for every offensive comment. It’s best to consult a lawyer immediately if you are confronted by conduct that could be considered sexual harassment.
How a lawyer can help
You may have many questions to ask when you are subject to harassment at work. These are some of the questions:
Did this constitute sexual harassment, as the law defines it?
What should I do to respond to the harasser
Do I have to report harassment?
What are the steps I can take to prevent future harassment?
What can I do to stop my employer from retaliating against the conduct that I reported?
These are questions that an experienced employment lawyer can answer.
Before you report sexual harassment, consult a lawyer
You may have to take steps to protect yourself even if harassment is occurring. Your employer’s policy, and even the law, may require that you report any sexual harassment to human resources. The law does not require you to report harassment if the harasser was a manager. An employment lawyer can help you identify the appropriate HR person or employee to report harassment. You can also have a lawyer help you describe the harassment. This will make it easier to communicate all relevant information calmly and clearly with HR or managers if you feel nervous.
Helping You Protect Yourself
An employment lawyer can help you to prepare for reporting harassment and will also advise you on what other steps you should take to protect your rights. These steps could include:
Document the harassment and have all conversations with your employer about it
Prepare yourself to deal with the harasser, if necessary
We will advise you on how to report future harassment to an employer.
Monitor your employer’s response. This will ensure that your employer doesn’t retaliate against your complaints.
It can be hard to know how to react to harassment at work. A victim of sexual harassment at work may feel too emotional and confused to be able to think clearly about his or her situation. A great resource is an employment lawyer to help you decide the best course of action.
Assistance during the Investigation of Harassment
An employer must investigate all complaints of sexual harassment. Your employer cannot make any negative changes to your employment during the investigation. A skilled employment lawyer can monitor the investigation with you to ensure that your employer is following the law.
Sexual harassment is not something employers can retaliate against. Retaliation may take many forms, and it is not limited only to termination or disciplinary writings. A lawyer can examine these actions to determine if they are retaliatory.