If you’ve been seriously victimized by sexual harassment, there’s no reason why you should continue to put up with the abuse. First of all, the law is on your side, and you can speak up to make the abuse stop. Secondly, the law will protect you from any kind of negative retaliation in response to your bringing attention to the abuse.
There are important steps you can take if you’ve been victimized by a sexual harasser at your workplace.
Confront the abuse head on. Don’t shyly put up with any kind of sexually harassing behavior. Instead, tell your abuser to stop the behavior immediately and that you find it offensive. In a lot of situations, this will be sufficient to make the behavior stop. If the harasser continues, it’s time to consult your workplace employee manuals.
Follow corporate sexual harassment procedure. The next step is to read your employee manual to determine the course of action you should take after an instance of sexual harassment. This will usually involve speaking to HR, talking to a supervisor or going to some other designated person to report the continued harassment. It will then be your employer’s responsibility to make sure the abuse comes to an immediate end. If you don’t have a procedure to follow, then speak to your supervisor or someone who holds a position above your harasser.
File an EEOC complaint. If your employer doesn’t take action to stop the abuse, then you may want to file a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. The EEOC will review the situation and determine if you have the right to sue. After receiving a “right to sue” letter, you can then pursue a formalized lawsuit to seek compensation in court.
Were you victimized by any kind of on-the-job sexual harassment? Learn about your legal rights and options to make the abuse stop, and you may be surprised just how much you’re actually in the power seat.