What To Do About Sexual Harassment
Sexual harassment refers to situations where a person is exposed to unwanted sexual advances or sexual conduct in the workplace. Sexual harassment is illegal. Employment laws make it unlawful for workers to be subject to discrimination or harassment on the basis of sex. Despite the laws in place to protect employees from sexual harassment, it unfortunately still occurs.
Workers who are victims of sexual harassment are often unsure of how to deal with the situation. Here, employment law attorney Gregory Thyberg, who serves Sacramento, CA, and surrounding areas, discusses what to do about sexual harassment, so that an employee’s rights are protected.
Make it Clear that the Behavior Is Unwanted
One of the key elements of sexual harassment is that the behavior is unwanted. Unfortunately, if the person doing the harassing is not told to stop, or if it is not made clear that the person on the receiving end is uncomfortable with the behavior, it could be difficult to substantiate a sexual harassment claim. Ideally, victims of harassment should tell their harasser directly that the behavior is offensive and unwelcome. If someone does not feel safe confronting their harasser in person, they should find another way to get the message across, either in writing or by passing the information through a supervisor at work.
Report Sexual Harassment to Management
Any situation of sexual harassment should be reported to management or another person of authority in the workplace. Many employers have sexual harassment reporting protocols in place. If so, employees should follow the outlined procedure. If protocols are not in place, it is best to report the harassment in writing, or to have a witness in attendance when the harassment is reported verbally. Employees should provide specific examples of harassing behavior and they should make a formal request that the employer do something to address the harassment so that it is no longer an issue.
Take Notes Regarding Instances of Harassment
It is unusual for a harasser to admit they have committed sexual harassment. If someone has been witness to sexual harassment, their testimony is vital. However, if no one is around when the harassment takes place, notes are often the best form of evidence to substantiate a sexual harassment claim. We advise our Sacramento clients to make detailed notes regarding harassing behaviors, including what was said and/or done, when and where the harassment took place, and if anyone may have witnessed the harassment.
Discuss the Situation with an Attorney
Employers do not always respond appropriately to sexual harassment claims. To avoid complications or potential consequences, they may deny the claim or ignore it. If someone has been subject to sexual harassment in the workplace and it has not been dealt with accordingly, they should contact a sexual harassment attorney. Gregory Thyberg works with sexual harassment victims in the Sacramento area and helps them consider how best to remedy their situation.
Contact Our Law Firm
If you have been a victim of sexual harassment, your employer may be liable for related damages. To discuss the details of your situation with employment law attorney Gregory Thyberg, contact our law firm online, or call (916) 204-9173 at your earliest convenience.