In the wake of recent headlines covering several high profile cases of sexual harassment and assault, many have been forced to consider the potential repercussions of failing to properly report an incidence of harassment (sexual or otherwise) that takes place in a work environment. Understandably, the psychological shock and emotionally-charged consequences that could set in after witnessing or experiencing workplace harassment can leave employees unsure about how to proceed without guidance on the subject. Knowing what to do beforehand if you or a fellow employee is harassed can help tremendously in properly and efficiently reporting the unacceptable behavior.
See below for steps from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) on how to act if an incidence of harassment has taken place at work:
1. If you feel comfortable doing so, tell the person who is harassing to stop.
2. If you do not feel comfortable confronting the harasser or the behavior does not stop, follow the steps below:
- Check to see if your employer has an anti-harassment policy.
- If there is a policy, follow the steps in the policy.
- If there is no policy, report the incident to any supervisor.
- Remember that the law protects you from retaliation for complaining about harassment.
- You always have the option of filing a charge of discrimination with the EEOC to complain about the harassment.
Note that there are specific time limits set for filing a charge with the EEOC, as well as for filing a lawsuit that pertains to harassment. If you believe you have been the target of harassment at your job, it is best to consult with an attorney to determine what protections apply to you and if you have been illegally discriminated against.
To set up a free consultation about your case, call (727) 786-5000 or visit our contact page.
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Florin Roebig fights for victims of workplace sexual harassment. See our page on harassment for more details.
For more information on how to follow the steps above, visit the EEOC’s page here.