The #MeToo movement has helped expose perpetrators of workplace sexual harassment and assault and bring them to justice. More work needs to be done, however. Some victims of workplace sexual harassment are either too afraid to come forward or don't know where to start.
Your employer should have a policy in place that prohibits sexual harassment. Not all employers make them clear, however. You can research your employer's policies by reviewing your company handbook or speaking to your human resources department.
Here are some tips on how to deal with sexual harassment in the workplace and prevent it from escalating.
Keep a log of each incident of sexual harassment
The first thing you should do is keep a log of each incident of sexual harassment that occurs. You can write it down in a notepad or document it digitally. Your log should include:
- The time and date of the incident
- The details regard what happened (comments made, gestures, physical contact, etc.)
- The location where the incident happened
- If anyone witnessed the incident
If the sexual harassment occurred in email or any other form of digital communication, be sure to note the details or take a screenshot so you have indisputable evidence.
Be careful not to leave any notes out in plain view, in case your harasser is able to get access to them. You should also avoid saving any digital notes or screenshots on your desktop. Either hide them in a folder, back up your copies in storage, or email a copy of the notes and screenshots to yourself.
Reporting the sexual harassment to HR
Once you have gathered enough evidence against your harasser, it's critical that you bring it to the attention of your human resources department. You can do this by setting up a meeting with human resources or notify them in writing.
Once you have notified human resources a thorough investigation will need to be conducted. This can take some time. It's important to follow up with them periodically in writing or verbally.
If your human resources department drags their feet or refuses to do anything, or if you face retaliation, you still have legal rights that must be upheld. It's critical that you speak to an experienced Salt Lake City workplace sexual harassment attorney as soon as possible.
The legal team at Andrus Law Firm, LLC can investigate the sexual harassment incidents and work with your employer for a fair financial settlement. We will also be prepared to go to trial if your employer refuses to budge.
We are dedicated to helping victims of workplace sexual harassment pursue justice. Contact us online to find out how.