If you have had an uncomfortable experience in the workplace that was sexual in nature, it’s likely that you are left feeling disturbed, upset and confused. You may want to assert yourself and let the person in question know that what they did was wrong, but you may feel reluctant to do so because this person is your boss or coworker.
An experience of sexual harassment in the workplace can present a host of dilemmas. While it’s never an easy situation to navigate, there are laws in place that can empower victims of workplace sexual harassment to take appropriate action. These protect workers from retaliation on the basis of sexual harassment and enable them to put a stop to the issue without letting their career suffer. The following are some things that you should consider doing after experiencing sexual harassment in the workplace.
In some situations, the perpetrator does not realize that the things they are saying are offensive. This could be the case if you are offended by sexual jokes made in the workplace. In this case, you have the right to let the offending party know that this behavior is unacceptable.
Go through the process in your workplace
If speaking up does not put a stop to the behavior, you should then follow your workplace’s procedure for sexual harassment claims. This usually involves making a formal complaint. Make sure that you keep a record of all actions you took and the communication that you had.
File an administrative charge
If your workplace is not handling the situation appropriately, you will need to file an administrative charge with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).
If you are issued a “right to sue” letter by the appropriate governmental agency, you are then able to take legal action against your employer and gain back damages for what you went through.
You should never let your career or mental health suffer as a result of sexual harassment in the workplace. Make sure that you take the appropriate steps to assert your rights.