Sexual harassment in the workplace is an unfortunate and common, occurrence. Because it occurs at work, the fear of losing your job or promotion may prevent you from reporting it. But despite what you may believe, there is something you can do about it without negative results.
The first step is to report the incident to upper management and human resources. HR departments are required to investigate sexual harassment claims because harassment is against federal law.
Even though sexual assault in the workplace may be hard to re-live, it is heavily encouraged for the victim to write down the details of the incident. Make sure to record dates, times, everyone involved, witnesses, and location. Additionally, keep records of conversations if possible. Having everything on record will only benefit you later on, especially if the case goes to court.
The type of workplace harassment can vary from verbal abuse to physical abuse. Regardless of what type the victim may encounter, it is very important to end it immediately. If you do not want to confront the assaulter, you can report it.
In the case that the victim works for a union, they may seek assistance from their shop steward. If that does not work, there is the option to file through the union to see if a formal process can be applied. If the victim does not work for a union, they can contact the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission or their state’s fair employment agency.
Employees are always protected from sexual harassment in the workplace. A lawyer will be able to help if the victim is unable to successfully go through HR, is fearful of losing their job, or does not understand the process.
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