I’m a Target of Sexual Harassment, What are My Options?

October 15, 2013

Sexual harassment is defined as any unwanted advances of a sexual nature that come from a person within the workplace. This individual can be a supervisor, a co-worker or even a patron of the facility. The main factor that makes a situation sexual harassment is the fact the advances are offensive and unwanted. If you are a target of sexual harassment, you will want to know what options you have for ending the activities. The following are the steps that one can take to resolve the issue:

Speaking with the Offensive Party

The first step a person should take is notifying the party that the actions are undesired and asking him or her to stop. Such actions may be difficult when the offending party has a position of authority. The individual should document the time and date that he or she confronted the harasser, and the results of such a confrontation. Additionally, that person should document each case of harassment in as detailed a form as possible.

Reporting the Harassment to the Proper Workplace Department

Most employers have a department that handles sexual harassment. This may be the Human Resources department or a separate entity that handles employee relations. The victim should seek assistance immediately upon not receiving results from the offender. The proper department will conduct an investigation and then act on the investigation in a manner that it deems appropriate. The actions that the workplace department may take are suspension, counseling or termination.

Filing Charges with the EEOC

If the person does not receive any consolation for experiencing sexual harassment in the workplace, or if that person becomes a victim of retaliation after filing a complaint at work, the next step is filing a charge with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. This government agency will conduct its own investigation of the charges and the victim’s work conditions. It will then make a determination on whether to pursue the victim’s complaint. A sexual harassment victim may receive such retributions as a monetary settlement, a job transfer, a reinstatement of a job that was left, or an apology from the company. However, if the EEOC does not find an act of harassment was evident, it will refuse to continue the process.

Civil Law Suit

If the EEOC does not take steps to correct the employer, the victim has the option of suing the employer in a civil case. This person may sue the employer for such reliefs that he or she was seeking through the EEOC. The person may ask for reinstatement of a position, back pay, lost benefits, emotional stress damages, court costs, or implementation of sexual harassment training.

Employment Attorney

The last option that a person has to obtain compensation for sexual harassment is taking the case to an employment attorney. An employment attorney will fight diligently to get a victim everything that he or she is asking for from the employer. To schedule an appointment with an employment attorney, one must make contact by online form or telephone. A representative will schedule an initial consultation, during which the lawyer will ask questions about the incident in question. If the attorney feels as though the victim has a good chance of winning the case, he or she may represent the party on a contingency basis. This means that the attorney will not collect fees until the client receives a lump sum settlement.

Harassment victims have a wide range of options. One of those options will get the victim the help that he or she needs.

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