What You Can Do If You Were Sexually Abused at Work

Sexual Abuse Attorney

If you’ve been sexually abused or harassed at work, you need to discuss your situation with a sexual abuse attorney. He or she can alleviate some of the strain you’re experiencing and serve as your workplace advocate. 

Have you spoken about the situation to your human resources department but nothing has gotten better? If so, you need to seek legal counsel immediately.

Speaking to a Sexual Abuse Attorney – How It Will Help

Experiencing discomfort at work because of a manager’s or co-worker’s inappropriate behavior is something you need to address without delay. If you dread going to work because of this type of bullying, again, you need to express your concerns to a sexual abuse attorney.

Workplace sexual harassment is a growing concern that businesses should always take seriously. However, many cases go unreported. Some people have trouble speaking about the problem because they fear repercussions. 

What is Workplace Sexual Harassment?

Sexual harassment in the workplace represents unwelcome sexual advances, verbal or physical abuse, or inappropriate sexual behavior. The most common forms of harassment include sexual comments, improper pictures, sexual advances made toward the victim, sexual jokes, or inappropriate touching.

You still need to confer with a sexual abuse attorney to make sure you do everything in the proper order and that you understand your rights in this regard. For instance, not all unpleasant actions qualify as harassment legally. Therefore, when you speak to an attorney, you’ll get a better idea of what meets the standard.

Under U.S. law, you’ll probably need to go through the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) to file a charge. It’s helpful to check with a lawyer first to learn how to proceed.

The EEOC states that isolated incidents or petty and slight annoyances, unless notably serious, do not necessarily rise to the point of illegality. For an illegal situation to exist, the working environment must be one where the worker feels hostility or considers the behavior offensively unreasonable. 

The EEOC’s Definition of Sexual Harassment

By the EEOC definition, harassment constitutes conduct unwelcome with respect to race, religion, color, sex, national origin, age (from age 40 and older), genetics, or a disability. The behavior is considered illegal when enduring it is a requirement for employment or the conduct leads to abusive, hostile, or intimidating situations.

Harassers may be a supervisor, co-worker, an employee who works outside your department. They may also be a non-employee who is visiting the company. 

In addition, a victim does not have to be directly harassed. If a harasser’s behavior affects them negatively, they too may file a sexual harassment complaint.

Be Proactive About the Situation

If you’re experiencing sexual harassment, check your company’s HR policy about the subject. The situation may also affect you psychologically. If you find this to be the case, reach out to a counselor for help. Doing so will alleviate the stress and strain of the circumstances and help you stay focused on the problem at hand.

Record the Incidents in Writing

According to equalrights.org, you should write down and record incidents of harassment. This includes notating the dates, times, and what exactly happened. Also, you may want to add observations from witnesses. Make sure you add as much detail as you can and keep notes about each time the behavior occurs. 

You should also record any meetings or conversations you have with your human resources department, your supervisor, or with the harasser. Record all the details – the time, date, or place and who was involved. Again, you may also ask witnesses to add and write down what they observed or heard.

Keep What You Write Down in a Safe Place

Keep what you record safe inside your house. Do not leave the information at work. When recording the information, focus on the facts and stay objective. Even though you may feel a good deal of emotion from the event, you still need to record everything from an objective viewpoint.

The EEOC Deadline for Filing a Sexual Harassment Complaint

If you file a federal complaint against sexual harassment with the EEOC, it must be submitted within 300 days from the date of discrimination. The EEOC, in turn, will review your claim. While the agency may sue on your behalf, it most likely will send you a notice that gives you the right to sue, or the right to file a private lawsuit. 

If you’re given a right to sue, you have 90 days to do so after having been given notice. You can get more information about filing a claim by visiting the EEOC website.

However, before you take this measure, you need to speak to a sexual abuse lawyer. Again, it is better to discuss the situation with him or her so you can ensure that you are following the proper protocol.

Sexual Harassment Settlements

In California, the law requires that employers train supervisors on preventing sexual harassment in the workplace. Therefore, you’re in your right to sue if you get no relief by speaking to your employer or the company’s HR department.

A settlement in your sexual harassment lawsuit may cover out-of-pocket expenses directly related to the case as well as damages for medical expenses, mental anguish, past and future lost earnings, job reinstatement or restoration, and legal fees. 

If the harassment was notably severe, the employer may be liable for punitive damages, or money that the court awards in cases where it believes the litigant should pay for his abhorrent conduct.

Sexual Abuse Attorney 

What Happens Next?

If you need assistance from a workplace sexual harassment lawyer, contact legal counsel right away. In Los Angeles, call the Belal Hamideh Law firm at 562-526-1224 to schedule an appointment.