Steps To Take If You Are Sexually Harassed At Work

As an employee, yu have the right to work in a safe work environment. When a co-worker or superior is sexually harassing you, do not feel like you need to sit back and take it. If you're being sexually harassed at the office, take the following steps:

Confront the Person Harassing You

Unfortunately, there are some people who do not realize that their words or actions are offensive and qualify as sexual harassment. Your first step is to confront the person sexually harassing you and let him or her know that their behavior is not acceptable. In many cases, a person will cease to bother you either out of fear of repercussions or because he or she finally recognizes that what he or she has been doing is inappropriate.

File a Report

If confronting your harasser does not resolve the issue, you need to report the person's behavior to your supervisor or your employer's HR department. Make sure that your complaint is in writing so there is a paper trail showing that you reported the harassment; it is also important to request a copy of your formal complaint to keep for your records.

Follow the Procedure for Sexual Harassment Investigations

In many cases, companies prefer to take care of sexual harassment cases in-house. A lot of employers have a procedure for conducting internal investigations when a sexual harassment complaint is filed; make sure that you follow your company's written procedure to ensure that your complaint is properly handled. Ask for copies of any documentation from the internal investigation, and make notes of the times and dates when you were interviewed.

Contact the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission

In the event that your sexual harassment complaint is not properly resolved by your employer, you will need to contact the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) to file an administrative charge. Your complaint will be investigated, and the agency will attempt to work with your employer to resolve the issue. If the complaint is not resolved after the EEOC becomes involved, you will get a "right to sue" letter which means that you can take your case to court.

Hire a Sexual Harassment Attorney

If your complaint is going to be litigated in court, you need to hire an experienced sexual harassment attorney, such as Davis George Mook, to represent you. Your attorney will be able to help prove your case, and if you win your attorney can assist you in getting back pay and any benefits that you may have lost, as well as monetary damages for emotional distress that you may have experienced.