US Attorneys: How to Handle Sexual Harassment in the Workplace
Sexual harassment in the workplace is very common, and you have to know your rights as an employee, so even if you’re touched over your clothing, it is still considered a form of sexual assault more than sexual harassment, thus it should be taken seriously. If your instinct tells you that the touch is malicious and you feel uncomfortable, you have to take action and stop it rights then and there before it escalates. Confrontation is the key to stop the person from harassing you. Look at the person’s eyes and tell him what he did was inappropriate.
The first time does make you feel sexually offended or you feel malicious intent with the act, don’t hesitate to shout “Stop!” to make sure others can hear it for extra emphasis, and never dare to apologize or make excuses for the actions of the offender because you are a victim of sexual harassment and sexual assault. Remember that sexual harassment is illegal and it should be dealt with right away. Documentation and reporting is necessary, taking note of the date, time, location, what happened, your immediate action, and the response of the harasser. It is a reliable evidence in case you want to take legal action, and if it ever happens to you again or to someone else at work, you will have a history to refer to. If touching is involved, be sure to report it right away. Don’t be afraid to report all sexual touches and demands. Touching with sexual intention or in a sexual manner is considered a form of sexual assault. It is important to document the incident and report right away to your management. A sexual assault is committed when a person engages in sexual activity without the consent of the other person such as touching with sexual intent to gratify sexual desires.
It is the right of the victim to call the police and report the incident as a crime if sexual harassment or sexual assault has been done. You should never allow desire or guilt to protect the attacker to keep you from asserting your rights. Remember that you have not done anything wrong, and if that person can get away with one instance, he may continue to harass other people and the incident may escalate to rape. It is best to hire a sexual harassment lawyer to help you in fighting your rights and best interests if the management fired or terminated you for reporting a sexual harassment just because the big boss did it. Federal laws exist to protect employees from sexual harassment in the workplace and you can obtain just compensation for being fired or terminated illegally.