Sexual harassment in the workplace should never be tolerated, and should always be reported to the relevant manager so that it can be put to a stop. However, the act of making a complaint about sexual harassment can ignite fear in many people. Recounting an uncomfortable or traumatic event can be very difficult to do, especially in the work environment. Many sexual harassment victims also worry that reporting the incident could have negative implications on their career.
If you have experienced sexual harassment at work, it is important that you take the time to understand your rights. As a victim of harassment, you are legally protected from any form of retaliation. This means that if you suffer in any way due to reporting the instance of sexual harassment, you will be able to take legal action against your employer.
If you are not sure how to talk to your employer in an effective way after an instance of sexual harassment, you should consider the following tips.
It’s wise to put everything in writing
Having a conversation with your manager about your experience may be useful because you will be able to effectively communicate how you feel. However, from a legal standpoint, you should make sure that everything is put in writing. This can help you to distance yourself emotionally from the incident. Additionally, if the appropriate action is not taken by your manager, you will have all the evidence you need to make a legal claim in New York.
Expect action to be taken
Once you have made the complaint in writing, you should expect that some form of action is taken to address the issue. It’s reasonable to expect that an investigation will be conducted by the HR department. This investigation should include interviews with possible witnesses. Where possible, the HR department should try and maintain your anonymity. However, in cases of direct sexual harassment, this will not be possible.
If your employer does not act appropriately, you have 180 days after the act of harassment to file a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) or to take legal action.
It is vital that you do not allow sexual harassment to take place at work. Not reporting such behavior could damage your career and your mental well-being.