Sexual harassment at work is a stressful and intimidating experience. If this harassment has happened to you at work, knowing what you do next is essential. Do you stay or go? When it happens, it’s vital to know that it’s not your fault and that you’re not alone.
The US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) describes Sexual Harassment as “…unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical harassment of a sexual nature.”
Here are some examples:
People who are being discriminated against or harassed at work sometimes quit their job because they need to get away from the situation. The first thing you should do is see your private physician. If your doctor says you are too sick to work, you are. Your safety should always still be your main priority.
If your Doctor does clear you to return, and it is safe to do so, then continued employment is the way to go. You may be wondering why? Why shouldn’t I immediately quit to get away from the harasser? Unfortunately, by quitting, you may risk any legal rights and protection you had as an employee at your company. For example, if you voluntarily resign, you will most likely not be entitled to unemployment. The Company’s legal team can argue that you were not terminated for an insurable purpose, such as “lack of work”, and therefore are not entitled to any further economic relief or damages.
Instead of quitting, be sure to consult with a qualified employment lawyer that specializes in handling these types of harassment cases. They will help guide you on what else you should do and determine whether seeking legal action, including possible compensation, is suitable for you.
Report. Report. Report. Inform your manager or Human Resources department of the harassment incidents and allow them to attempt and fix the problem. Not sure where to find the protocols? Find your employee handbook or ask a lawyer for assistance.
There is a limited time to file. For example, under federal law, a potential plaintiff has 300 days from the last date of employment to file a claim of discrimination/retaliation. This means waiting is not ideal. Act now. By contacting a lawyer soon after the incident, you will ensure that your case falls within the statute of limitations. Waiting to report can hurt your case in the long run.
Stopping the harassment may be as easy as telling your coworker or supervisor about the offense and requesting that they stop. But what if this doesn’t work? What if it becomes worse? Remember, you have a right to take legal action, and now is the time. Our team of top-rated New York sexual harassment lawyers is dedicated to helping and representing employees in the workplace.
You have the right to work in a harassment-free and safe environment. If you are experiencing sexual harassment in the workplace or a hostile work environment, we can help. Get started by contacting us today at 516-741-0300.