We refer to sexual harassment as any sexually suggestive conduct in your workplace that may make you feel uncomfortable. According to the 1964 civil rights act, sexual harassment as illegal Title VII of the same indicates that employers should not allow any employee to encounter sexual harassment irrespective of their sexual preference, age, or gender.
Different people in the workplace could indulge in it, including your supervisors, employees, or coworkers. Avenues that you can follow if you get sexually harassed by your employer are available in your workplace. Again, if the harassment continues, feel free to consult with Santa Ana Personal Injury Attorney to help you in the litigation process.
Behaviors Identified as Sexual Harassment
Sexual harassment is not only physical; it is anything sexual in terms of content that causes hostility in the work environment. Below are the behaviors you can identify as sexual harassment
- Physical acts of sexual assault
- Whistling or catcalling
- Being requested for sexual favors
- Being sent explicit videos, text messages, sexual photos, or emails
- Jokes aiming at making fun of an individual’s sexual identity or gender
- Unwanted physical advances
- Verbal harassment that is sexual
Differentiating Sexual Harassment from Sexual Assault
What differentiates sexual harassment from sexual assault is the fact that harassment does not require an individual to physically touch you. Sexual assault is any occurrence that involves anyone making unwanted physical or sexual advances on you without explicit consent.
It includes acts like unwanted touching, fondling, or someone forcing themselves onto another person without their consent. Those are two severe crimes committed by people in their workplaces that, being the victim, you need to file a lawsuit for. That you did not experience physical assault should not make you feel like you do not have the right to report the incident.
Speak Up About Your Sexual Harassment
Saying something about the harassment will make the perpetrator consider the consequences of their actions, which could embarrass them for them to stop. Many workplaces always have sexual harassment issues because some people may not understand the behaviors and type of speech that is off-limits.
However, in many incidents of sexual harassment in the workplace, just saying something to the offender is enough for them to stop. An offender who is cognizant of what they are doing can think that perpetrator will feel embarrassed to speak about the ordeal, which makes them get away with it.
Verbalizing the discomfort you have felt will possibly embarrass them to the extent they stop harassing you. If the abuser is your superior, talking about the experience will make them realize that what they have done is uncomfortable and unacceptable. The other step should be following your company’s policy on the issue.
Follow the Company’s Guidelines for Reporting Sexual Harassment
You need to understand what the company guidelines are concerning the matter and follow them to be on a safe side. It is sad that, you must abide by the organization’s rules, which will give you leeway to get justice later on.
In most companies, there is a detailed handbook that contains all that pertains to human resources and processes, which include the way the company would like its workers to deal with sexual harassment concerns. Look for a copy and read it for you to follow the instructions.
The policy that deals with sexual harassment in the company will entail what the company considers as sexual harassment, the way to report the incident, the period you have to ensure you report it, how the investigation procedure looks like, the penalties given to the abusers and the support structure available for the victim.
Reporting the Sexual Harassment to Your Human Resource Department
Filling the complaint with the human resource office should be your next course of action. If there is no human resource department in the company you work for, let the supervisor or the higher-up you trust in the office know about the issue so that they can act as it is crucial to any litigation against the perpetrator who is your employer, siting that they were aware of the incident(s).
Maintain the Records of Your Sexual Harassment
It is important that you keep an accurate record of your harassment, even if it is daunting. Your human resource department or lawyer will later use it. Ensure it bears the following details:
- Name of the harasser
- The time, date and location of the ordeal.
- Name of the witnesses
- What took place during the harassment
- Anyone who talked to you about the harassment
- The actions the management took
Report the Incident to A Government Agency
File a formal complaint with a government agency if the harassment goes on. A complaint refers to an administrative charge usually filed with government agencies for them to investigate and then take the required steps to deal with the issue. If they consider your complaint valid and not resolvable with the perpetrator, they give serve you with the Notice of the Right to Sue.