Steps To Take When You’ve Been Sexually Harassed At Work

Workplace harassment refers to the harassment of sexual nature, premised on gender, physical attractiveness, or unattractiveness of the person. However, it becomes imperative to take cognizance of the case at hand and report it to the authority. Staying silent has never been a solution.

Here are five steps you can take to guide yourself along the way.

Sexually Harassed At Work


Know the meaning

Before moving with the complaint, it is essential to understand the meaning of sexual harassment at the workplace and its ingredients. For instance,

  1. It could be some unwanted jokes or comments on the way you dress up, unwelcome comments, etc.
  2. Touching or any other bodily contact, grabbing by the waist, etc.
  3. Turning down the request for any assignment and indulging in unwanted flirting.
  4. Playing sexually suggestive music.
  5. Posting emails on pictures or sexual related nature.
  6. Playing sexually suggestive music.

This is not an exhaustive list, and the act could transcend the list. If you’ve experienced any action which falls in these lines, then it amounts to sexual harassment.

Ensure that the workplace has a sexual harassment policy

It is suggested to take the matter to the internal committee if you’ve any. It would be better to look for the sexual harassment policy at your workplace and be well versed with the procedure of filing the complaint.

In case of any doubt, you can always ask your manager or any other colleague to guide you along your way. This way, you’ll be able to alert the manager or your colleagues about your ordeal.

Alert human resource management

If you have a complaint procedure, follow the guidelines for bringing the complaint before your company’s appropriate authority. Subsequently, please bring it to the attention of your HR department as well. They are best equipped with the complaint mechanism.

Please note that these types of complaints need written proof. So, make sure that you’ve everything in writing. These written documents will enable you to prove your claims later on.

The HR department makes its notes, so make sure you have a copy of that as well. This is important since apprising them of the incident will enable them to take proper action against it. This will also facilitate the committee’s speedy investigation and setting for the appropriate resolution to be adopted for the case at hand.

Submit to the company resolution process

It becomes imperative to submit a complaint to the company resolution process. These processes involve arbitration or any such operation in similar lines. Submit the arbitration of any other method that your company offers to resolve the problem.

Make sure to participate in the meetings or any other procedures initiated by the company. Avoid making complaints if you are unwilling to cooperate with the company’s efforts to resolve the matter. Furnish all the documents and necessary details at their request and provide any evidence that you may have.

File a lawsuit

Depending on the severity of the incident, you can approach the court to resolve your issue. But remember to keep this as a last resort since the court will not entertain the case if you’ve not approached the company’s authorities first. So, make sure to do the needful and then knock on the doors of the court.

Getting professional help in such a situation is the best thing you can do to safeguard your rights. This is where a reliable attorney comes into the picture. You may approach the best sexual harassment lawyer in New York City to voice your grievances before the court. However, you may also approach the internal committee of the company for redressal.

Another important thing is to make sure that you’ve ducks in the row after consulting the EEOC. There are chances that you may be awarded monetary damages. Hence, it is imperative to have all the credible evidence that is contemporaneous to harassment at the workplace.

This includes all the steps that you’ve taken before, for instance, taking cognizance of the case by reporting it to the manager or any other competent authority, your participation in the procedure adopted by the company thereupon, and so on. Make sure you have all the documents with you in case they ask for them anytime.

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