It is a harsh reality that many individuals who experience sexual harassment in their workplace do not report it. Talking about it is almost as embarrassing as experiencing it.
Did you know that one in three women have experienced sexual harassment at work, according to a poll done by the Huffington Post. And that’s just women.
What exactly is sexual harassment?
Sexual harassment is unwelcome sexual attention and comes in many forms. It is often keenly felt by the victim, but ignored by those around them. It can be as blatant as a direct request for sexual favors in exchange of a service or unwelcome romantic attention.
Sometimes it is not so simple, for example:
- You can be harassed by people of the same or opposite sex
- You can be harassed by your boss, a coworker(s), or even a client
- Maybe it didn’t happen to you directly, but it was extremely offensive
- Maybe you lost your job due to it, or maybe it just created a hostile work environment
- No matter what the situation, the attention was not wanted
Why speak up?
Beyond the fact that you are addressing a wrong, there are practical reasons to fight sexual harassment in the workplace. Some reasons to pursue a claim include:
- Stop the person or people who did it and cultivate a safe work environment for all
- Get your job back if you lost it due to reporting the harassment
- Get paid for the time that you were off due to reporting the harassment
- Recover your benefits that were lost due to reporting the harassment
- Seek damages for the emotional distress it caused you and your family
If you are a victim of sexual harassment, you know the pain it causes and how embarrassing it is to talk about. Every situation is different. If you feel you have a sexual harassment claim, talk to an attorney to see what the best way is forward for you.