Sexual harassment in the workplace can vary widely, but the simple fact is, it’s wrong. Many victims feel powerless to stop uncomfortable conduct, but there may be steps you can take to fight back. Here’s what you should know about responding to sexual harassment at work.
As scary as it is, no solution can be found until you make your voice heard. Your first step may be letting the offending party know that their conduct is uncomfortable and unwelcome. They may not realize how their speech or behavior affects others. If nothing happens, you can take your complaint to a higher-up.
Follow Your Employer’s Reporting Procedure
Chances are, your employer has policies in place to handle harassment complaints. Speak to HR staff or consult the employee handbook to learn the steps you will need to take. If there is a detailed sexual harassment policy in place, carefully followed the outlined policy.
If there is not set policy, your immediate supervisor is likely the first person you should speak to. If your harasser is your supervisor, however, you should go to their supervisor. It is important to ensure that company management is aware of the issue. Be sure to keep careful records of any harassment episodes, your complaints, and any incidents related to the harassment. This includes the date and time, persons involved, and what was said.
If your employer’s internal procedures don’t help your issue, you may be able to file an administrative charge with the correct governmental agency. This typically will be the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), but it also may be the state human rights or civil rights enforcement agency. If the agency cannot resolve your complaint but determines there is a valid claim, they can issue a “right to sue” letter, which will allow you to take your case to court.
After you have received a right to sue letter, you may bring a civil lawsuit against your employer for the damages caused by the harassment. Remedies can include:
- Job reinstatement.
- Up to three times the back pay you are owed if you lost money or were denied a raise due to the situation.
- Fringe benefits lost.
- Damages for emotional trauma and distress.
- A requirement for your employer to implement training and policies to prevent harassment.
- Your attorney fees and court costs.
Get Help From Our Memphis Employment Law Attorneys – (901) 209-5500
Sexual harassment cases can be emotionally trying and difficult to prove, but our team at Donati Law, PLLC is committed to helping employees fight for their rights. We have decades of experience to guide you through every step of your case, and we will ensure that you receive the justice you deserve. Let our Memphis employment lawyers help you tackle your case.
Schedule an appointment to discuss your case with our legal team. Contact us by calling (901) 209-5500.