5 Steps to Take If You Have Been Sexually Harassed In the Workplace
As an employee, it is important for you to understand that, if you are touched inappropriately in the workplace, even if it is just over your clothing, it is illegal and should be taken care of appropriately. On the other hand, sexual innuendo and crude remarks should not be ignored either. If, for any reason at all, you are made to feel uncomfortable, then the actions should be stopped right then and there before the situation can escalate further.
If you have been the victim of sexual harassment at work, here are 5 steps you need to take in order to protect yourself.
- Confront Your Harasser. The person who is harassing you should be confronted. Maintain eye contact and firmly tell them that their actions were inappropriate. Be blunt and specific. There is no need to worry about being polite. If you are nervous about the confrontation, bring a coworker or friend with you who can serve as a witness. Tell them to stop, and remember never to make excuses for their behavior.
- Document the Incident Immediately. Make no mistake about it. By law, sexual harassment is wrong, and it should be stopped immediately. After completing step one, report the incident to your boss or supervisor and to the head of your company’s human resources department. For your own records, make a note of the date, time, place of incidence, any witnesses present, your response, and the perpetrator’s response. Each time an incident occurs, report it and make a note for your own files.
- If Touching Occurs, Report It Right Away. If inappropriate touching is involved, it should be reported immediately. Sexual harassment in the form of inappropriate touching also constitutes sexual assault. It should be immediately reported to management. According to the legal definition under California law, sexual assault is defined as “when an individual engages in sexual activity without the explicit consent of the other individual involved.”
- Engage the Police. There will be some victims who will balk at the idea of calling the police to their workplace, but in some instances, it will be necessary. Sexual assault is a crime, and you have the right to report it as such. The desire to protect your attacker or guilt should never be used as an excuse to prevent you from asserting your rights in the workforce. Sexual harassment is a type of behavior that tends to escalate, and the chances are that you are not the first person the perpetrator has harassed. If allowed to continue, harassment could turn into a more serious crime, such as rape.
- Hire a Sexual Harassment Lawyer In Los Angeles. If you were to report sexual harassment to a superior, and as a result, were to lose your job or be demoted, then you must contact a sexual harassment lawyer Los Angeles immediately. Even if you keep your job, you should still contact this type of specialized attorney. Your employer can be found legally culpable if she or she has allowed this type of environment to develop, unchecked, in their workforce. If the incident is reported, but management does not take the appropriate steps to investigate or correct it, contact an attorney.
As a citizen of the United States, Federal law protects your right to work in an environment that is free from sexual harassment. A professional sexual harassment lawyer in Los Angeles will examine the merits of your case and advise you on the appropriate course of action. You are entitled to monetary compensation for the abuse you have suffered from sexual assault, and you deserve to be fairly compensated.
Marcelo Diego of the Diefer Law Group, P.C. offers information on sexual harassment lawyers and employment lawyers in Los Angeles.