Sexual Harassment If You Are Self-Employed

Self-employed workers are becoming more commonplace. More people are working as independent contractors or gig workers because that way they are self-employed and it is a more economical approach to getting the job done for employers.

However, being self-employed can complicate a few things. As an example, if you have suffered sexual harassment and you are self-employed, you may not be sure how to proceed with your claim and how to report the incident.

For most workers, sexual harassment claims are clear. They would go to human resources or a supervisor to report the incident.

They would be required to investigate your allegation and then report back to you after they have determined what transpired.

As someone who is self-employed, you may not know how you are supposed to proceed with your complaint, but in most cases, you would report it in the same manner.

As someone who is self-employed, you may be confused about what you are supposed to do, but you should proceed properly and make sure you make timely notification of any sexual harassment.

When you contracted with the company, paperwork should detail the processes and who you are to report such situations to. Make sure you review those documents and act accordingly.

You should also speak with an expert in the employment law field, so you will ensure your rights are protected.

You Should Have Your Situation Reviewed By An Expert

An employment law attorney is familiar with the federal, state, and local laws that apply to your specific situation. Your lawyer will investigate your claim and gather supporting evidence.

An attorney will also gather additional information and evidence, and your lawyer will also be able to determine the proper way for you to proceed with your claim against the employer.

A lawyer will guide you through the reporting process, will gather additional evidence, and will then help you get everything in order and file your complaint properly.

Your lawyer will need to review your contract with the employer to determine how to proceed with your claim and to fully understand your rights.

Figuring Out Who To Report To

At some point, you signed a contract to take on the job and responsibilities. Usually, the person who holds that contract is liable for your damages.

You should review your contract to confirm that there is a harassment clause. Self-employment does not make an individual immune to harassment.

A study released in 2018 indicated that 54 percent of the women who were freelancers or self-employed had suffered sexual harassment while on the job at least on one occasion.

The study reported that 75 percent had been called demeaning names or had been subjected to unprofessional comments regarding their appearance and about 60 percent experienced physical intimidation.

When signing a contract, you should make sure it includes a harassment clause. You should be sure to stand your ground and make sure that you are clear that you will not stand for being harassed and discriminated against.

Let the employer know that you expect respect and fair treatment. You should make sure you understand state laws that apply to your situation and to independent contractors and self-employed workers.

You should not hesitate to file a complaint if you have suffered sexual harassment as a self-employed worker.

Evidence To Gather

When you have suffered sexual harassment as a self-employed worker, you should gather all the supporting evidence and documentation that you can.

This will include statements from witnesses, audio footage or video footage from surveillance equipment that may have caught the incident, and any digital footage that may support your claim, such as a photos of any offensive or inappropriate images or sayings or emails or text messages.

The more evidence that you can gather, the more likely you are to succeed with your claim. An employment law attorney will help you build your case by gathering supporting evidence and documentation and by working diligently to ensure your claim is submitted to the proper person and that it is properly addressed.

With the help of a lawyer, you are much more likely to have a successful claim against the employer who is liable for the damages that you suffered because of the sexual harassment you suffered while trying to perform your work duties.

Talk with the attorney about their payment programs because some take cases on a contingency basis and others require a retainer to be paid. Complete the Free Case Evaluation Form on this page.


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