A workplace can be a space filled with collaboration, competition, and even good-natured friendships — but it should never be a place for sexually inappropriate behavior. Ethics, professional standards, common sense, and the law dictate that the office or any workplace should be a safe place where everyone can work together and in peace. When someone crosses that line and engages in sexual harassment, the target of the harassment loses the opportunity to feel safe where they work.
No one deserves to face harassment in the workplace, and no one invites such behavior. If you’ve experienced inappropriate advances and other harassment, know that you are not responsible for other people’s actions.
Although employers should vet their staff carefully and provide a plan of action for dealing with harassment when it occurs, many businesses fall short of these standards. Understanding your legal options for holding employers responsible for allowing harassment to take place is essential. At HHJ Trial Attorneys, we are here to help you make sense of this confusing and difficult time.
The simplest way to understand the difference is that sexual harassment involves unwanted attention, whereas sexual abuse involves unwanted contact. Some common examples of harassment include:
Contrast this with abuse, which begins with unwanted physical contact and may rise to the level of assault. Harassment often accompanies or precedes abuse. If you have experienced conversations or comments that cross the line, you may have a harassment case — especially if the business has failed to act even after you’ve reported the misconduct.
First, raise the issue with your employer and its human resources department. Businesses must protect employees and must provide a safe place to work. Allowing harassment to continue unabated is not acceptable. Ideally, your employer will take corrective actions, and the harassment will stop. However, if it does not and fails to resolve the issue, it may be time to move forward with filing suit. If you experience additional harassment or retaliation from your employer because of making harassment claims, you should speak to a lawyer as soon as possible.
Why file suit? There are several good reasons to do so when an attorney believes that you may be able to demonstrate the negligence of the business. Some of the possible outcomes of suing over ongoing sexual harassment include:
Every case is different, and no outcome is certain at the outset. However, no one deserves to endure sexually based harassment, and especially not at work. Speaking with our team can help shed light on your options.
At HHJ Trial Attorneys, we believe it is vital to send a strong message that sexual harassment in the workplace won’t be tolerated — and neither will those businesses who turn a blind eye to these problems. Based on the facts of your situation, we may be able to assist you in building a case to file suit against your harasser, your employer, or both. Standing up and saying “no more” can help you to take back your agency while opening the door to a potential settlement because of the harassment. To find out more about your options, please contact us today.