Sexual harassment at work is a troublesome occurrence that can impact you emotionally, physically and mentally. Your mind might be so full of thoughts because of the harassment that you can’t really think clearly. Take these steps after sexual harassment at work.
Know the law
You don’t have to deal with any form of sexual harassment at work. Sexual harassment has many forms, including verbal, physical and visual. Verbal sexual harassment includes having to listen to someone make sexually explicit remarks. Physical sexual harassment occurs when someone touches you in a sexual manner. Visual sexual harassment occurs when you see sexually explicit materials or actions.
Sexual harassment doesn’t have to occur to you to affect you. You can be adversely affected simply by seeing or hearing someone else being sexually harassed. Additionally, sexual harassment doesn’t occur only at the hands of a supervisor. Co-workers, customers and vendors might all commit sexual harassment. Contact a professional for advice after a potential sexual harassment incident occurs.
Write up a report
Write up a report about what happened as soon as possible. This ensures that the memories are fresh in your mind and that you have an accurate account of what happened. This written information might prove useful if you are going to take legal action about the incident.
You don’t have to share this statement with your employer. However, you should share it with your legal representative. Be sure to include information about any steps, such as verbal statements, that you took to put an end to the harassment. Jot down any witnesses’ names and job titles who were present when the harassment took place.
Notify the company
All companies have or should have protocol in place for sexual harassment claims. Follow this protocol to let the company know what is going on. You don’t have to speak to your immediate supervisor about the incident if you are uncomfortable doing so. The person you tell should be someone who can act to find out what happened and to remedy the situation in the interim. You can notify your employer verbally or in writing. From there, the employer must investigate the issue. They must remain impartial while this occurs. Seek out advice if you are worried about the protocol that you are instructed to follow.
Explore your legal options
You have legal options to consider when you are sexually harassed. Filing a complaint with the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission is one necessary step. You can choose to do this on your own, but you can have legal representation when you take this step.