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Philadelphia Sexual Harassment Lawyers: Options After Being Sexually Harassed

July 25th, 2016

Facing sexual harassment can be uncomfortable and humiliating. When many people think of sexual harassment, they think of catcalls or jeers directed at women. Although this type of behavior certainly qualifies as sexual harassment, it far from defines it. Sexual harassment can take subtle or overt forms and in many cases, especially in workplace settings, and can involve a manipulation of the power imbalance between two parties. For example, a supervisor might sexually harass an employee, and the employee, feeling that he or she needs to maintain a positive relationship with their supervisor, might refrain from taking any action about it.

If you believe you have been the victim of sexual harassment in the workplace, not taking action can have a long-term negative impact on your career. Know your rights as an employee, and speak up about your experience. Talk to an experienced sexual harassment lawyer about your options, which include the following.

Filing a Harassment Claim With the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) exists to enforce federal anti-discrimination and harassment laws in the workplace. These laws include Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967, and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. If a worker experiences discrimination or harassment in any form in the workplace, he or she has the right to file a claim with the EEOC. The EEOC then investigates the claim and if it finds discrimination or harassment has occurred, it can facilitate an agreement between the worker and the company that results in a settlement to cover the employee’s damages.

Filing a Lawsuit

If an EEOC investigation does not reach a satisfying conclusion, a harassment victim can file a lawsuit against his or her employer and/or the harasser. Before filing a lawsuit, the worker must attempt to resolve his or her issue with the EEOC.

In a sexual harassment lawsuit, the victim must prove that the harassment he or she faced was unwanted, unwelcome, and could reasonably be determined to be abusive or hostile. The victim must also demonstrate that the harassment he or she faced was severe enough to impact his or her ability to perform his or her job.

Steps to Take Before Taking Legal Action

Keep a record of every instance of sexual harassment you face. These could be messages in emails or voicemails, comments directed toward you and overheard, and any images or anecdotes shared with you that you feel are inappropriate. The date, time, and circumstances surrounding each instance should be included in your record.

Before contacting an employment lawyer or contacting the EEOC, try to resolve your sexual harassment issue within your workplace. If you are facing harassment from a co-worker, speak to your supervisor about your experience and show him or her your record of instances of harassment. If you are being harassed by your supervisor, speak to him or her about it as well as any other relevant parties, such as your supervisor’s boss. Moreover, all of these interactions should also be discussed and documented with your company’s Human Resources department.

Philadelphia Sexual Harassment Lawyers at Sidney L. Gold & Associates, P.C. Advocate for Victims of Sexual Harassment

Sexual harassment can happen anywhere. When it happens in the workplace, it can negatively impact your job performance and ultimately, harm your career. If you feel you have been a victim of sexual harassment in your workplace, contact one of our Philadelphia employment lawyers. Complete our online contact form or call Sidney L. Gold & Associates, P.C. at 215-569-1999 today to set up your free initial consultation with a member of our team. We represent clients in Pennsylvania, South Jersey and New York.

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