Sexual harassment at the workplace takes many forms, including:
Comments about your appearance
Constant requests for dates
Pornographic materials in the workplace
Fortunately, employment law protects workers from any form of harassment. Therefore, if you are a victim of sexual harassment at the workplace, you are eligible to file a claim. But the outcome of your case depends on how you react after the traumatic experience. Read on for steps to follow after sexual harassment at the workplace.
Express Your Discomfort to the Harasser
Perhaps your colleague has been making inappropriate comments about your appearance. Or, they have been watching pornographic content in the office to make you uncomfortable, to mention a few cases of sexual harassment. You should ask them to stop and explain that you are uncomfortable with their actions. With this, you will have better grounds to file a claim if they don't stop.
Inform Your Employer
If nothing changes after confronting the abuser, it's best to report the incident to the employer and do it right away. The step helps your company investigate the incident when it's still fresh. If you report the incident days or weeks later, the employer may think you are lying, which will complicate your case further.
Report the incident in writing on paper or via email so you will have a copy of the report as evidence for your case. The report should include even the tiniest details of what the harasser did and how that made you feel.
Gather Substantial Proof
You need convincing evidence that you were sexually harassed at the workplace. The earlier you start gathering proof, the better. You can compile evidence in different forms, including:
Photos, Videos, and Audios
You can record videos or take pictures of the harasser in action. You may also record audio in case the sexual harassment is verbal. Recordings are the most solid fork of evidence because they make it hard for the offender to deny the claim.
Maybe you know of a colleague who has reliable information about what happened to you. Plead with them to testify about it to strengthen your case.
Emails and Letters
Perhaps your employer sent you letters or emails requesting you to accept their sexual advances and get a promotion. Such materials will come in handy when proving your case.
An employer or colleague may do something uncomfortable to you, but it may not be unlawful. Therefore, you should familiarize yourself with your rights and expectations about your colleague's behaviors. Most importantly, seek the counsel of an employment attorney to assess your case and establish if you have a viable sexual harassment case.