Workplace sexual harassment is as pervasive as it can be damaging. As we noted in a recent blog, about 33 percent of women have been the target of workplace sexual harassment by the age of 35.
While you may be aware that workplace sexual harassment is illegal and problematic, however, it may be far less clear what you should do if or when you may be the target of this type of harassment at work. So, to clear things up, below we have pointed out some of the most important facts to understand and remember if you are ever subjected to workplace sexual harassment.
- Workplace sexual harassment can take many different forms – And not all of these forms of sexual harassment involve physical contact. In fact, while sexual harassment at work can involve groping or inappropriate touching, it can also occur without any physical contact when, for instance, any of the following occur:
- Making sexually explicit comments or jokes
- Hinging job offers or opportunities on the exchange of sexual favors
- Displaying lewd images or items in the workplace
- Sending explicit or lewd emails to colleagues.
- Reporting every instance of workplace sexual harassment is important – No matter how minor an incident of workplace sexual harassment may seem, if it has made you uncomfortable and it was unwelcomed, report the incident to your employer. Although the single incident or report may not constitute a violation of the law (or an employer’s specific policies), these reports can be integral to affirming a pattern of harassment later.
- So too is maintaining your own records – Regardless of whether you take action to report sexual harassment to your employer, be sure to keep your own records about each incident of harassment, noting details like the day/date/time of the incident, the involved parties, etc. Here are more specific details about what to include in these records.
- Employers are required to conduct unbiased investigations of sexual harassment complaints – And this can mean that employers look into work records for both alleged harassers and for the alleged victims. This can also mean that employers interview the alleged harassers and victims, dig into each parties work emails, and conduct other potentially invasive inquiries to evaluate the complaint.
- Consulting an attorney can be essential for victims – This may be the single most important fact to remember because, even if you go through your employer’s complaint process to report workplace sexual harassment, the result of an employer’s investigation may not be impartial or accurate. Additionally, consulting with a lawyer provide further insight regarding your other options for recovery and justice.
Contact a Los Angeles Sexual Harassment Attorney at Urbanic & Associates
Have you been the target of workplace discrimination, harassment or retaliation? If so, you can turn to Los Angeles sexual harassment attorney at Urbanic & Associates for help defending your rights and pursuing justice.
To discuss your options with Attorney James Urbanic, call him at (310) 216-0900 or send hime an email using the contact form on this page.
From our offices based in Los Angeles, Attorney James Urbanic provides superior representation to clients throughout Los Angeles County and southern California, including (but not limited to) those in Glendale, Burbank, Alhambra, Van Nuys, Santa Monica and Orange County.