As there are many different sorts of workplace harassment, with the three most common including bullying, discrimination, and sexual harassment, it’s no surprise that we see a lot of this concerning issue occur in the modern-day American workplace.
In fact, according to statistics, it is estimated that 81% of women have experienced some sort of harassment in their lifetime, with 69% of them being sexually harassed in a professional setting during their careers. On the other hand, a significant number of men have also reported having experienced harassment in the workplace.
For that reason, if you ever find yourself in a situation where you feel that you are being bullied or harassed at the office, there is room for you to take things into your own hands. Even if the harassment is just annoying and not too severe, it can still make you feel uneasy and lead to more serious issues.
To make you feel more safe and prepared, here are a few things that you can do if you are a target of workplace harassment.
Harassment Isn’t Supposed To Be Ignored
According to statistics, persons who sexually harass others at work do not cease because their victims usually do nothing, so it’s crucial not to overlook the problem if you suspect you have been the victim of workplace sexual harassment. Ignoring such actions may encourage the harasser to become more aggressive. Although discussing sexual harassment might be uncomfortable, you can empower yourself by communicating with other employees and speaking up, as some of them may be experiencing harassment as well.
Get Legal Advice From A Professional About Sexual Harassment Law
Meeting with an attorney does not imply that you will file a lawsuit against your current or former employer straight away. However, if you believe that you are being sexually harassed and want to take action, speaking with a lawyer who has handled sexual harassment cases before is an absolute must. For instance, If you happen to reside and work in California, you can consult with a lawyer from the law offices of Corbett H. Williams, a law office dedicated to protecting California employee rights and a long history of successfully handling workplace harassment cases.
An employment lawyer like this one can advise you on how to handle the situation, let you know what constitutes unlawful sexual harassment under the law, and what legal options you have if things get out of hand.
Let Your Harasser Know About Their Unacceptable Behaviors
Many harassers frequently claim that their victims accepted, invited, or liked their actions and remarks. So, to have your harassment claim validated, the act must be considered unwelcome. As a result, you must urge the harasser to stop harassing you in obvious and explicit words.
It would be best to simply make it abundantly clear that their behavior is not acceptable. You might do this verbally; however, it could be better to write out your objections in an email. This way, if the harassment continues, you will have proof that the behavior was undesired.
Don’t Just Quit Your Job
Your employer is legally obligated to put a stop to any harassment-filled environment, so if you’re experiencing any harassment at your workplace, don’t just quit because you’re tired of being in an unpleasant situation. Resigning could hurt your chance to recoup lost wages and allow your employer to argue that you didn’t give them enough time to address the problem.
Before making any decisions, consult with an employment lawyer who can assist you in developing the best strategy for dealing with the circumstance if you think the harassment is unbearable. On the other hand, you can take a disability or a sick leave as a replacement for resignation while the matter is resolved.
Realize That Not All Bad Conducts Are Considered Illegal
You must understand that not all harassment cases are defined as prohibited conduct because various legislation and hundreds of court cases define what constitutes unlawful harassment. It’s especially difficult to know where to draw the line when dealing with irritating, repulsive, or threatening behavior at work. However, these standards change due to legislative changes and new court rulings.
For that reason, once again, it’s punctuated how crucial is to speak with a lawyer who is familiar with sexual harassment law and can assist you on how to cope with such behavior.
Ultimately it’s the work of a skilled attorney to narrow down the list of possible offenses and then build a convincing case against the harasser, but it’s important to always remain vigilant in the face of harassment. If you know your right or if you know that this behavior is illegal, make yourself heard by raising your voice and standing up for yourself.