There’s a tragic reason why the profession of sexual harassment lawyer is necessary. Every year, thousands of people experience unwanted romantic or sexual advances, offensive touching, sexual blackmail, harassment via email or social media, and many other scenarios that have become all too common in the workplace.
Maybe you’ve encountered something like this. This behavior should never take place in a professional environment, but it did. Now what? Yesterday, we shared a few tips with our readers. We went over the first few steps to take if you’ve been sexually harassed, and you can read that here. Keep scrolling downward, and we’ll continue on with more information about the best ways to handle this kind of scenario.
Make sure ahead of time that your company has a nondiscrimination policy in place. Your HR department should already have a plan to handle harassment claims and other related issues. If they don’t, speak up, and encourage them to create a plan and make use of meetings, blogs, newsletters, and other means of communication t spread the word.
Most companies take claims of sexual harassment seriously and have processes in place to deal with the investigation and remediation. However, if your employer either tries to negotiate with you or manipulate you in a way that could undermine your claim, don’t take part in it.
You can file a sexual harassment claim with either someone from your HR department or your company’s EEO (Equal Employment Opportunity) officer. You must file the claim within 180 days of the date of the incident, or, if numerous incidents have occurred, 180 days from the date of the most recent incident. The claim is filed under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, and it covers all private and public businesses in the United States, along with American citizens working for an American company that is based in a foreign country.
If you’re going to take the time to consult with a lawyer, make sure to do your due diligence. You’ll absolutely want a law office or firm that specializes in employment law and discrimination law. During the consultation, your attorney can go over your options, as well as recommend if you should file a claim under State Fair Employment Practice (FEP) status. This is a lawsuit where you can potentially receive funds as compensation for damages, along with filing your case through multiple agencies. You can get attorney referrals from women’s organizations that are local and national, your union if you’re a member, legal aid community offices, state offices for FEP or state Equal Employment Opportunity Commission offices.
Finally, if there are any illegal or criminal aspects to the harassment you experienced, be sure to call the police.
1 in 3 women will likely experience some form of sexual harassment during their professional life. Of those women, nearly 80% will decide not to pursue a claim. While our country continues to make great strides for equality, we still have a long way to go. If you or someone you know has been affected by sexual harassment, contact us with questions or to set up a consultation.
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