Steps to Take After Being Sexually Harassed in the Workplace
Sexual harassment in the workplace is not merely an inconvenience. It is devastating and can take a significant toll on your emotions while also being damaging to your career. Unfortunately, workplace sexual harassment is quite common. If it happens to you, it is natural to be unsure of what steps to take next. Below, our Palm Beach Gardens sexual harassment attorney explains what to do after experiencing this type of misconduct.
Determine if the Conduct is Sexual Harassment
Before taking any legal action, you should first determine if the conduct rises to the level of sexual harassment. While this behavior is sometimes obvious, that is not always the case. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission defines sexual harassment as:
- Requests for sexual favors
- Unwelcome sexual advances
- Other forms of physical or verbal harassment that are of a sexual nature
It is important to note that one-time occurrences may not be classified as sexual harassment. For example, if an employer makes an offensive joke one time, that is likely not considered harassment. On the other hand, if an employer regularly makes jokes of a sexual nature, that could constitute harassment.
Know the HR Policies
To protect any legal case you may file in the future, you must follow the human resources (HR) policies in your workplace. If you work somewhere that has more than 15 employees, your company should have an employee handbook that outlines how these complaints should be filed and handled. If you cannot find them or your employer does not provide one, it is important to speak to a Palm Beach Gardens sexual harassment attorney.
If you can find the employee handbook or other HR policy, read it over carefully. It should outline who to contact about the complaint and how to move forward with it.
File Your Complaint
Your employer is only required to take action if you report the harassment within 180 days of it occurring. Certain circumstances may extend this timeline, but it is generally best to comply with it. Once you have determined the proper protocol, it is important to follow it. Once you report the harassment to the appropriate person, you should then file a formal complaint in a timely fashion. Use direct and straightforward language in your complaint. Also make sure to include the important details such as who engaged in harassing behavior, what happened, as well as when and where the incident occurred.
After filing a report and a formal complaint, you should follow up with the appropriate person. Ask what is being done about your complaint and what action is being taken. If you are unhappy with the answer, it is time to speak to an attorney who can advise you on the next steps to take.
Our Sexual Harassment Attorney in Palm Beach Gardens Can Help You Through the Process
If you believe you have been sexually harassed at work, you need legal help. At Sconzo Law Office, our Palm Beach Gardens sexual harassment attorney can provide it and advise on the nest steps to take while also helping you obtain any compensation you are entitled to. Call us now at 561-279-6114 or contact us online to learn more.
flsenate.gov/PublishedContent/Reference/PublicRecords/Links/Workplace Harassment Prohibited Policy 1.60 2021.pdf