No one should ever have to suffer any form of sexual discrimination or harassment at the workplace. These kinds of experiences can leave victims feeling hopeless and worthless. Unfortunately, the modern work environment, despite the massive advancements witnessed over the years, remains a hot spot for abuse. This fact that this is happening, in a time when people are considered more liberal and many management teams have adopted strict policies against such acts, is nothing less than disheartening. If you find yourself as a victim of sexual harassment, you don’t have to bear the pain in silence. Getting justice is possible.
There are two distinct ways in which most workers are sexually harassed at work. The first way is by creating a hostile work environment where there is no limit to how far people can take their sexual content. The second is quid pro quo harassment which refers to an individual who is always making some form of sexual contact or asking for sexual favors in exchange for something the worker requires. This could be a salary raise, outstanding performance reviews, or promotions. At times it also involves unwanted sexual contact without necessarily having to require the victim to ask for a favor from them. In these instances, the individuals always have a higher position than the victim and they take advantage of their high position in the organization.
The first step to stopping instances of sexual harassment from happening in the workplace is to report it to the Human Resource department, who should take up the right course of action. If the Human Resource department does not find a way to end the offending behavior, or at worst is part of the problem, one should then look for an employment law firm. An employment lawyer can take the initiative of getting all the details about the case and file a case with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. This body is mandated with conducting the investigation of such claims and will be a stepping stone to receiving compensations for the pain and damages caused to you.
You should not let the fear of reporting sexual harassment hinder you from seeking legal assistance. A good employment lawyer will take steps to preserve your reputation and make sure your dignity is maintained. While one might place the burdens on themselves through self-blame, no one ever chooses to be a victim and speaking up helps eliminate future instances of these types of behaviors. A good rule of thumb is to avoid signing any Non-Disclosure Agreement with the company either willingly or under duress after deciding to stand up for your rights. Instead, these types of agreements should be shared with your employment lawyer who will ensure that the intent of the agreement is for your good.
Sexual harassment or discrimination is not restricted to gender or age and can happen to anyone. These behaviors do not necessarily need to involve parties of the opposite sex. Whether it is mockery because of your sexual choices or physical assaults, no form of negative behavior should be left unabated in the modern workplace. A winning step is to seek out an attorney who is well versed in employment law so they can help us work towards making acts of sexual harassment become a thing of the past.