Managing workplace sexual harassment can be difficult, especially when your boss or superior is the one behaving poorly. For many, coming forward can be difficult as there can be many barriers set before a victim of sexual harassment. There can be so much shame associated with sexual harassment that many victims choose to never move forward. Knowing how to manage yourself in the workplace and how a victim may take action can be helpful when considering the proper course of action. For those feeling lost, or whose rights have been clearly violated, an employment litigation lawyer, like one at Eric Siegel Law, may be the best option for navigating contentious situations such as this.
Tips in the Workplace
To be propositioned or treated inappropriately by someone in a leadership position can be not only uncomfortable but shocking. The last thing any employee expects is for their superior to behave in such an inappropriate way. Although it may feel uncomfortable, directly confronting your superior may be the first step to take towards stopping the behavior. If this does not go well, or doesn’t feel like an option for you, communicate with your company’s human resources department. They are required to take your sexual harassment complaint seriously. Having an understanding of the company protocol for how such situations are handled can help you ensure that the proper course of action is taken by your employer.
Depending on the outcome of your complaint with human resources, you have a number of choices to make. If human resources has not taken action, the harassment has not stopped, or you have suffered retaliation as a result, consulting with an attorney may be your next option. They can help guide you through the process of filing a complaint with the EEOC. There are specific timeframes regarding your ability to do so, meaning, it’s important that you act swiftly. During this process, the idea of continuing to work with a company that has not taken action with a poor company culture may feel inconceivable. If this is the case for you, it may be in your best interest to look for new employment opportunities.
Reasons Victims Never Come Forward
Shedding light on poor behavior exhibited by someone in the workplace can be difficult, especially when the person guilty of the harassment is a superior. Following a complaint, you may still have to face the person whose behavior was unacceptable on a daily basis. The thought of having to experience this can keep many from making the decision to come forward. There are a number of reasons victims of sexual harassment in the workplace choose not to come forward:
- They feel ashamed or blame themselves
- Fear of retaliation
- Worry that nothing will change
- The harassment may get worse
- Worry that they won’t be believed
It is always scary but important to speak up so that the workplace can be safer for everyone.