You Don’t Just Have to ‘Take It’ – You Have Rights!
While not everyone expects to go to work with eager anticipation every day, there is at least an underlying expectation that one’s workplace will be free of danger – or at least it should be. However, countless men and women across the country dread arrival at work, as it means another day full of uncomfortable situations, lewd jokes, and sexually inuendos.
Whether you are experiencing quid pro quo sexual harassment (direct sexual favors or actions in return for workplace benefits) or you are dealing with a hostile work environment, you have the right to a workplace free of sexual discrimination. You may need to consider sexual harassment claims in order to defend your freedoms within the workplace.
Steps You Need to Take in Sexual Harassment Claims
- Document Everything
As many sexual advances in the workplace happen in a more private setting, it is hard to prove and quantify every occurrence. This makes it extremely important that documentation exists for the different occurrences. Whether it’s an inappropriate comment or a suggestive touch, make sure you document the date, place, all people present, and the details of the incident.
- Consult Employee Handbook
When handling sexual harassment claims, it’s important to consult your employer’s handbook outlining the proper steps for handling these issues. Your process may be much smoother if you comply with the steps laid out by your employer. If, however, there is no handbook available or the handbook does not include sexual harassment incidences at work, proceed with the following steps.
- Take It to a Superior
Find a boss or supervisor that you feel comfortable explaining the situation to. This may be all you have to do in order to put an end to the sexual harassment. Document this as well. It may even be good to find a trusted fellow employee that is able to attend this meeting with you for support and witness.
At this point, your superior should take the necessary steps to stop the unwanted behavior and, if appropriate, dole out consequences to the offending party. However, if the correct actions are not taken, you may still proceed with your sexual harassment case by filing a claim with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).
- File a Claim
In all cases, it is beneficial to file a claim with the EEOC. They will seek to rectify the situation first through either a mediation service or whatever system your employer may have set up for handling discrimination charges. If your employer is unwilling to cooperate, or you feel your emotional and/or physical damages are due justice in court, you may proceed with legal actions.After receiving your claim and going through the proper steps, the EEOC will send you a “right to sue” letter if your claim has not been resolved. You may request a “right to sue” letter at any time before this if you want to pursue the discrimination in court.
- Seek Legal Representation
Legal representation is obviously important if you have decided to settle your claim in court, however, it may also prove helpful during the entire process. Employee Rights attorneys know the intricacies of job harassment laws. There are timelines involved in filing a claim with the EEOC, in most cases 180 days from the date of the last incident.
Look for an attorney that will handle your case with compassion for your situation and aggression to seek rectification.
Thomas More Holland has both. With a heart to fight for those that have been wronged at work, Tom Holland is known for his tenacious spirit and undaunting aggression working hard to protect the rights of his clients in sexual harassment claims.
Call TMH Law today at (215) 592-8080.
Related Tags: Filing Sexual Harassment Claims | Sexual Discrimination At Work