Sexual harassment can happen anywhere – in your school, workplace, or public. Facing sexual harassment can be frightening, and it can leave one feeling hopeless and unsafe.
If you have experienced sexual harassment at your workplace, you should immediately reach out to an Austin sexual harassment lawyer and figure out what to do next.
How do I recognize sexual harassment?
Sadly, sexual harassment is not uncommon, and in many cases, the victims do not even realize that they are being sexually harassed. The very first thing that you should do is recognize behavior that can be sexual harassment. Being aware of it can also help you prevent it in the future or complain if you experience it.
In legal terms, sexual harassment is any form of unwanted or unwelcome behavior – be it verbal or physical – that is sexual. It can be of three types:
- Quid pro quo: when a higher ranking employee asks you for sexual favors in return for promotion or benefits
- Hostile work environment: when the repeated advances of someone create a hostile environment for you to work in, affecting your work performance or attendance
- Non-direct sexual harassment: when someone who is not the intended victim of the sexual harassment witnesses the harassment
What should I do if I am being sexually harassed at work?
If you have been a victim of sexual harassment at the workplace, then whether you take any steps or not is a personal decision that you have to make on your own. If your safety is not jeopardized by doing so, then some of the steps you can take are:
- Document everything
Document everything you can – such as screenshots of text messages, emails, social media posts, recordings, and anything else available.
- Assess the situation
Learn more about the company’s policies regarding sexual harassment and your state laws regarding the same. What does your company policy say? How seriously will your complaint be taken? What laws are in place to protect you? Assess the situation before you make a move.
- Speak up
If you feel like it is safe to do so, then tell your harasser that their behavior is making you uncomfortable.
- Talk to a lawyer
Dealing with sexual harassment can be challenging, leaving you with many questions and no idea what to do next. Talking to a lawyer can help significantly in a situation like this.
Consult a legal professional
If you or someone you love has witnessed or experienced sexual harassment at the workplace, you do not have to deal with this alone. Reach out to a sexual harassment attorney today and learn how to protect your rights.