5 Mistakes for the Victim of Sexual Harassment to Avoid
If you’ve ever been in the unfortunate situation of having been sexually harassed at work, you may be feeling hurt, frustrated, angry, confused, overwhelmed, or mentally exhausted; perhaps you are feeling all of those emotions simultaneously. One thing is for certain, as a victim of sexual harassment you should never allow a thought to enter your mind of the harasser getting away with this sort of work-related crime.
Former president, Theodore Roosevelt was once quoted as saying “Justice consists not in being neutral between right and wrong, but in finding out the right and upholding it wherever found against the wrong.”
You may be thinking “But I don’t know how to go about getting justice.” There are some things for certain that you want to avoid doing in order to seek justice after being sexually harassed. Here I will list 5 of them:
#1) Not knowing what your rights are. Long before Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 became a federal law, people didn’t have a leg to stand on when it came to discrimination and sexual harassment on their jobs. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 was set up to protect individuals in the workplace by prohibiting companies from discriminating against their employees on the basis of color, national origin, race, sex, religion and disability.
In short, no victim should feel apprehensive about standing up for justice when his/her discrimination rights have been violated. It is the moral obligation of the individual whose rights have been infringed upon, to rise up and take action against the perpetrator.
#2) Not reporting the erroneous acts of sexual harassment: As a victim of sexual harassment it is up to you to report sexual harassment to the appropriate department, individual(s), and/or authority. You have every right to confront the harasser (if you feel comfortable) and tell him/her that you do not like or accept what he/she is doing and you demand that it stops. If the sexual harassment continues, then you must proceed with reporting to the proper individual(s). If the harassment continues after that, then the company will be held accountable by law for not rectifying the situation.
#3) Not documenting the acts of sexual harassment: As the acts of sexual harassment occur over a period of time, it is essential that specifics be documented, so that when further steps are taken to legally correct the situation or compensation is in order, the victim may refer back to precise dates, times, names of individual(s) the harassment was reported to, etc. Make sure to also save any emails, letters or memos while keeping in mind not to violate the employer’s confidentiality.
#4) Quitting: Your first instinct may be to immediately quit as soon as the harassment starts so that you can remove yourself from the hostile situation, but it is possible that in the event you do quit, you will be giving up your ability to file for sexual harassment. Do everything you can within your own strength to stay, keeping in mind to avoid the above mistakes while seeking the professional advice of an attorney.
#5) Not consulting with an experienced attorney who is knowledgeable and passionate about fighting for your discrimination rights. Oftentimes victims wait before enlisting the help of an employment law attorney. An attorney experienced in this field has the ability to make demands for a settlement prior to the victim filing a formal complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). A discrimination attorney knows the legal process and can assist the victim in this unfamiliar legal territory to protect his or her rights and strategically move forward.
In a case alleging intentional discrimination or actions of sexual harassment, the ultimate burden of proof lies in the hands of the victim. Having an experienced NYC sexual harassment and discrimination attorney to help you gather evidence and guide your case can make all the difference in having a successful outcome to your circumstances.
If you have questions about sexual harassment or discrimination in the workplace, you should definitely speak with a New Jersey, New York City, PA Sexual Harassment Lawyer regarding your sexual harassment case. Please feel free to contact the employment law attorney at the Derek T. Smith Law Group, PLLC by calling our toll-free number 877-469-5297 today.