No one should be made to feel uncomfortable at work due to sexual harassment, regardless of how much they like their job. One of the first questions we frequently hear from victims of sexual harassment is: Where do I go to address this? Do I have to speak with my boss, supervisor, or HR department first?
The best course of action is to reach out to a sexual harassment attorney to discuss the issue and how to proceed. You deserve to feel safe. If you are concerned that you have been a victim of sexual harassment, our Ohio sexual harassment lawyers are here to help.
There can often be confusion surrounding what exactly constitutes sexual harassment. Most know that it describes a behavior such as making unwelcome and inappropriate sexual remarks or physical advances in the workplace or similar professional or social circumstances. Many do not realize that it does not always have to be of a “sexual” nature, per se, but it can also include offensive remarks about someone’s sex, such as making offensive comments about women in general. Thus while it can include such blatant behavior as a coworker requesting sexual favors, it can also include a supervisor simply making lewd jokes, just as an example.
First and foremost, when you go to meet with your attorney, bring all of the evidence you have gathered documenting the inappropriate behavior. This can sometimes include a log of what happened, how it was handled by your employer, and when. It can also include documented communications between your supervisor or HR department, such as any emails that have been sent and received concerning the behavior.
Your sexual harassment lawyer will use the evidence you have collected while also doing their own investigation to put together a case proving that you are a victim of sexual harassment and appropriate action was not taken to properly remedy the problem.
Whether or not there are certain actions that first need to be taken before a claim can be brought largely depends upon documented policies your employer has; for example, does your employee handbook or contract dictate that you must first make a formal complaint before disciplinary action can be taken?
Still, note that your attorney is not only there to put together a legal complaint, but can also help you initially organize your complaint even to your supervisor or HR department before a legal complaint is broached.
You have the right to be free from sexual harassment at work, and we are here to provide you with guidance if you have concerns that your rights have been violated. Know that this also includes any potential retaliatory actions that could be taken against you after reporting such behavior.
Contact our Zanesville, Ohio, sexual harassment attorneys today to find out more about your rights and our services.
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