When you are at work, you should feel safe and comfortable. Unfortunately, many employees suffer from sexual harassment and discrimination while on the job. If you have been subjected to inappropriate sexual gestures while at work, you may be able to pursue a sexual harassment claim. However, just a single isolated instance doesn’t warrant legal action.
If you are subject to inappropriate behavior from customers, coworkers, or supervisors, it can affect your well-being, your work performance, and your productivity. When someone makes inappropriate sexual gestures toward you, it could be considered sexual harassment. You will need to maintain evidence and documentation and do everything that you can to make sure you have evidence to support your claim.
What To Do If You Have Suffered Inappropriate Sexual Gestures
If you have been subjected to inappropriate sexual gestures, be sure to document it. Write down the date, time, and location of the incident as well as where it happened and when it happened.
If there are surveillance cameras in the area take note because the incident may have been captured on video footage. If that is the case, your attorney can subpoena that footage to be submitted as evidence in court.
You should immediately tell the person who is making the gestures to stop and let them know that you do not appreciate the advances or actions. You should then report the incident to your employer as quickly as possible. This would be to a supervisor or to human resources.
Be sure to keep evidence or documentation that proves that you did file a report with your employer. Also, be sure to take note of the response of your employer.
Always remember that supporting evidence and documentation are essential to a successful sexual harassment claim. An employment law attorney who is familiar with workplace sexual harassment can help you gather supporting evidence and documentation and build your case. As an example, if there were any witnesses, they will be asked to provide written statements and may even have to testify regarding what happened and how it happened.
Witnesses or surveillance footage could be what your case needs to succeed. An attorney will determine the best way to proceed with your claim and how to obtain the supporting evidence that your claim needs to be successful.
You should maintain thorough files and be sure to get evidence of any discussions or responses from your managers or supervisors. You will need proof of your employers’ actions.
Sexual Harassment Depends on the Severity and Frequency
If you have been subjected to sexual harassment, it must have been a repeat occurrence. A single isolated event is most likely not going to be viewed as harassment. Also, if and how the employer responds plays a pivotal role in the outcome of your case.
Did your employer take action against the situation in an effort to prevent further harassment? Did your employer adhere to company policy for preventing sexual harassment?
If you told your employer and the behavior continued, be sure to note that and how your employer responded to a repeat offense. Documentation and thorough record keeping are essential to the outcome of your claim.
You should also have a copy of your employee contract and the employee handbook. All the supporting evidence and documentation that you can gather will be beneficial to your claim’s outcome.
Examples of Inappropriate Gestures in the Workplace
- Physically restricting the movement of a person; in other words – standing in their path.
- Brushing up against an individual 'accidentally on purpose'
- Staring or staring up and down at their bodies,
- Making derogatory remarks on the gender identity or sexual orientation of someone or questioning about the sexual orientation of someone
Making lewd comments or telling stories of sexual encounters – even though it's not pointed at you, but done in your presence to make you unhappy.
- Inappropriate and provocative touching of the body and/or clothes of an individual, kissing, rubbing or caressing
- Calling for dates repeatedly after being rebuffed or asking for sexual favors
Make movements, statements or facial expressions that are sexually inappropriate
Speak With an Employment Law Attorney
If you have been the victim of inappropriate sexual gestures in the workplace and/or other forms of sexual harassment, you will need to enlist the help of an employment law attorney who handles sexual harassment cases. With the help of a lawyer, you are much more likely to get your claim on track and recover compensation for your damages.
A sexual harassment lawyer will gather supporting evidence and documentation so you can make sure that you successfully prove your case and show that the inappropriate gestures occurred and that you properly notified your employer of the actions of the coworker, manager, or customer. You will also want to detail what actions were taken by your employer – or if there was a lack of action thereof.
To make sure your sexual harassment claim against your employer gets on track before time runs out, complete the Free Case Evaluation Form on this page today. The details of your case will be shared with the office of an attorney who handles claims in your area. If you wait too long, you cannot pursue a claim, so act today.