Not all that long ago the concept of workplace “sexual harassment” did not exist.
The laws that existed were few and virtually never enforced.
Today, however, sexual harassment in the workplace is taken very seriously, though the laws and procedures for pursuing a claim can be confusing for a victim.
If you feel you have been sexually harassed at work there are several important steps you should take to protect you and your legal rights.
The first thing you should do if you believe you are the victim of workplace sexual harassment is to educate yourself on the protections against sexual harassment in the employment laws.educate yourself on the basics of the law.
While nothing can replace an in-depth consultation with an experienced employment law attorney, a rudimentary understanding of the definition of sexual harassment in the workplace is a good place to start.
LISTEN IN MY OWN WORDS WHY HELPING SEXUAL HARASSMENT VICTIMS IS SO IMPORTANT TO ME
Workplace sexual harassment is a form of sex discrimination that violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. There are two basic forms of sexual harassment in the workplace:
- Quid pro quo – this refers to a situation where decisions relating to the hiring, promotion, firing, and continued employment of a worker depend on the worker providing sexual favors.
For example, if your boss promises to give you a raise or promote you to a supervisory position if you have sex with him or her that would likely qualify as quid pro quo sexual harassment.
- Hostile work environment – this refers to a situation where a worker’s work environment becomes hostile, intimidating, offensive, or threatening to the point where it interferes with the worker’s ability to do his or her job because of continued sexual advances.
For instance, if your boss continually makes sexual “jokes” involving you despite your obvious discomfort that might qualify as hostile work environment sexual harassment.
If you are convinced that you are the victim of sexual harassment in the workplace it is imperative that you begin documenting the harassment.
Keeping a journal is a simple option.
Write down each and every act of harassment, including the date, the name of the offending party, and the names of any witnesses. Ask other employees if they are experiencing the same conduct.
HEAR WHY I THINK SOME EMPLOYERS CROSS THE LINE
Filing a complaint using the proper channels at your workplace should also be done; however, if the workplace is small and the person to whom a complaint is filed is the offender this will not likely result in any action being taken.
The most important thing you can do as the victim of sexual harassment in the workplace is consult with an experienced Florida employment attorney.
You have the right to feel safe in the workplace; however, you may need to assert that right through legal action. Having an experienced attorney on your side will ensure that all your rights are protected and that you are compensated for any harm you suffered as a victim of sexual harassment.