Most companies have a sexual harassment policy in place to protect them and to ensure that employees are not victims of mistreatment.
A sexual harassment policy is a series of actions that a company will take to respond to an employee’s sexual harassment claim.
This policy usually involves an investigation that determines the veracity or validity of the worker’s claims. The results of the investigation are then used to resolve the claim.
If you have suffered sexual harassment, you should follow the protocol set forth in your company’s sexual harassment policy.
What Is In A Sexual Harassment Policy?
A sexual harassment policy might include several things that help determine the outcome of the sexual harassment claim and, also, help reach a resolution for the matter.
The first thing that a policy may include is a company statement on sexual harassment. The statement may indicate that the company is committed to providing workers a safe environment that is free from any discrimination and harassment for any reason.
It should indicate that the company will operate a zero-tolerance policy for any kind of workplace sexual harassment, treat all sexual harassment claims seriously and investigate all allegations of sexual harassment.
Any person who has been determined to have sexually harassed another will face disciplinary action, which could include being dismissed from employment.
The company sexual harassment policy should include definitions of sexual harassment, the steps that the company will take after they receive a sexual harassment complaint, penalties that a worker can face if they are found guilty of sexually harassing someone, and who the sexual harassment policy is applicable to.
You should familiarize yourself with this policy and keep a copy of it for future reference. That policy is also helpful if you must file a sexual harassment claim against your employer in the future, so be sure to read over it.
What To Do If You Are Being Harassed
If you have been the victim of sexual harassment in the workplace, you should act promptly. You should gather supporting evidence and documentation for your claim.
You want to prove that you suffered sexual harassment, who did it, and what happened. You should write down all the details, so you can recall them later when you need to do so.
Your evidence that you gather should include your employment contract, your employee handbook, any documents such as messages or memos that apply to your employment and the harassment, your company’s sexual harassment policy, any inappropriate images or documents, and documentation detailing any incidents. Also, get statements from any witnesses to the sexual harassment.
You should review your company’s sexual harassment policy and determine how you are to proceed with your claim. You should then follow the process that is explained in that policy to get your claim underway.
Your first step will be to contact your company’s human resources (HR) department and file your complaint. You should put the complaint in writing and send it by letter or email.
Be sure to indicate that it is a sexual harassment complaint in the subject line and maintain evidence that you submitted a complaint. You should keep any correspondence from your employer and be sure to document any discussions.
If your complaint is not resolved, you should file a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).
The EEOC will investigate your claim and work to resolve it. Your employer could face criminal penalties which could include a fine and they may be ordered to change their workplace practices and enact a different sexual harassment policy.
You can also recover compensation for the damages that you suffered because of the workplace harassment.
Get a Free Case Evaluation Today
You should enlist the help of an employment law attorney. An employment law attorney will be familiar with all the applicable laws and will determine the best way to proceed with your claim against your employer for workplace sexual harassment.
Some employment law attorneys take cases on a contingency basis, but others will require a retainer to be paid upfront and will charge an hourly rate. Discuss payment with the lawyer when you are retaining services.
You do have a limited timeframe for pursuing a sexual harassment claim, so be sure to get your claim underway quickly. If you believe you are a victim of workplace sexual harassment, complete the Free Case Evaluation Form on this page to share the details of your situation with an employment law attorney who handles such claims in your area.