The #MeToo movement has drawn much attention to the issue of sexual harassment in the workplace. Unfortunately, the message has not gotten through to everyone, and sexual harassment in the workplace remains common. Sexual harassment does not always involve unwanted propositions or touching. Often, it is more subtle. Perhaps you allow a co-worker a bit of leeway if they make a sexist remark, but if it happens on a regular basis, it may create a hostile work environment. There is also a fine line between what some may view as collegial behavior and forms of sexual harassment. If your gut tells you a co-worker is behaving in an appropriate manner, trust your instincts.
When it comes to proving sexual harassment, documentation is key. Keep copies of all texts, emails, and similar materials relating to sexual harassment. Most harassers are not going to put their harassment in writing, so take notes regarding any situation you feel involves harassment immediately afterward. In the notes, include a description of the incident, when and where it occurred, and the names of any witnesses.
If possible, tell a trustworthy colleague or your manager, that way you have a record of mentioning the incident. Write down how they reacted and anything they may have said. You may find that your fellow employee noted similar behavior from this person or knows someone else with experiences similar to yours. Establishing a pattern of behavior helps when trying to prove a sexual harassment claim.
File a Report
Check your employee handbook for information on reporting sexual harassment claims. Your report should include the documentation you collected in a written account, and the names of any witnesses. The company should then conduct an investigation into your allegations. Employees are protected under federal and state law against sexual harassment under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. However, if you work for a small employer with only a few employees, Title VII may not apply. However, this is where state law comes in, as some states extend Title VII to interns and others. A sexual harassment lawyer can help you understand your rights.
Montgomery County Sexual Harassment Lawyers at Sidney L. Gold & Associates, P.C. Help Sexually Harassed Employees
If you are dealing with sexual harassment in the workplace, you need the services of the experienced Montgomery County sexual harassment lawyers at Sidney L. Gold & Associates, P.C. Call us today at 215-569-1999 or complete an online form to schedule a free consultation. Located in Philadelphia, we serve clients throughout Wilkes-Barre, Scranton, Bucks County, Chester County, Delaware County, and Montgomery County.