Sexual Harassment In The Workplace
The rise of social media is changing the way people throughout the United States feel and react to sexual harassment. Movements like #metoo and #timesup shed light on harassment in the workplace and challenge immoral standards that have been silently maintained for decades. One of the more meaningful reactions to these movements is women learning more about their legal rights and ability to sue their employer for sexual harassment.
Suing Employers for Sexual Harassment
Women and men have the right to sue an employer for sexual harassment and assault. Consider the following information that highlights how employees can help stop harassment in the workplace and prepare a lawsuit.
Too many cases of sexual harassment in the workplace are not reported because of fear of retaliation. Many times the offender does not realize that their behavior makes others uncomfortable and is inappropriate. Speaking up brings attention to the issue and is often effective for making the responsible party consider the consequences of their actions. If the offending person happens to be a superior, employees are encouraged to follow through with their company’s policy on reporting harassment. You should contact your Human Resources department to learn more about your company’s policy and procedures.
Align With Company Policy
Adhering to and following through with your company’s policy on harassment goes a long way when it comes to filing a lawsuit. Most medium to large companies have detailed policies that guide employees on how to report harassment. If your company has an online or tangible handbook, make sure to obtain a copy and follow through with each step. Most companies offer an anonymous hotline for employees to use when reporting inappropriate behavior. These channels are often maintained by a third-party and all information is kept confidential.
Report the Issue
If you have made a point to communicate your concerns and followed through with each recommended step of the company’s policy, the next thing you need to do is report the issue. The Human Resources department will have someone can handle your claim. If your company does not have an HR department, it is recommended to bring the complaint to your superior or others that are higher on the chain of command if it is your immediate supervisor who is the offender. It is important to make sure that your company is aware of your concerns in order to justify a potential lawsuit in court.
The Litigation Process
To follow through with a lawsuit, you will need have a Notice of Right to Sue issued to you, which allows you to launch the process of filing a claim against the offender. Most lawsuits that involve harassment in the workplace cite emotional damage, lost income, lost benefits, and psychological treatment.
What You Need To Know About Sexual Harassment In the Workplace
Before you move forward with a lawsuit, there are a few important points of information you should keep in mind. First, if the offense is minor or delivered on an inconsistent basis, you will not likely be able to sue your employer. Courts manage sexual harassment claims similar to other types of physical injuries where the damage must be significant enough to be recognized in court. The offense needs to meet the requirements of “severe or pervasive” which sees the offender committing violent acts on a regular basis. If a colleague or employer makes a vulgar statement, looks down your shirt, or makes some type of groping action inconsistently, sadly, most courts will not acknowledge a civil claim.
Contact FAST HELP To Learn More About Sexual Harassment At Work
If you are being harassed at work and would like to learn more about your legal rights, contact the attorneys at FAST HELP. It is your right to work in an environment that you feel safe in. If you follow each all of your company’s procedures and the harassment has not ended, contact our Atlanta Personal Injury Attorneys for a free consultation. Just dial (404) 592-0318.