What is Sexual Harassment?
Sexual harassment happens when someone makes unwelcome or offensive sexual advances requests for sexual favors. In many cases, this behavior can be a crime. Sexual harassment is restricted to interactions between men and women. It also occurs in same-sex situations, which can affect LGBT workers. Men can be sexually harassed by other men, while women can be harassed by other women.
Sexual Harassment Prevalence in the Workplace
Studies show that one in four working people experience sexual harassment on the job. This behavior is more common for younger workers and those who work with customers or clients of the opposite sex. In a 1990 study, 42 percent of female respondents reported having experienced sexual harassment at some point during their lives. However, studies also reveal that most employees never report what they have been subjected to. What happened was not severe enough to come forward about it, according to a recent Gallup poll? Of those who did report it, a majority notified a supervisor or manager—even though most said they feared it would lead to retaliation.
Losing a job or quitting one’s position because of an unwelcome advance is not uncommon. Critics of sexual harassment laws note that they can be misused by employees to intimidate co-workers. However, this misuse is a small minority of the cases. However, some cases are more serious. Victims may experience depression, lowered self-esteem, loss of appetite, problems sleeping, and increased anxiety.
If you are being forced to unwelcome sexual overtures or advances, there are some things you can do:
Do not ignore the behavior.
When someone is trying to sexually harass you, the first thing you should not do is just brush it off. Many women will usually try to ignore their attackers. However, this should not be done because it will only encourage them even more. If they are ignored, they will keep on doing it until they get an answer from you. When they do not get an answer from you, this is when they will start thinking that it is okay for them to continue the behavior. Keep note of each behavior. This should be done by keeping a diary or notebook where you can write down everything that has been going on. This serves as proof in case you have to take the matter to court. It also helps document your emotional state during those times so you can bring it up as evidence if needed. Keep copies of any letters, memos, notes from meetings, and phone messages from anyone who might have been harassing you. Documenting instances of sexual harassment can help prove your claims.
Report the behavior
Sexual harassment can also occur outside work, even at home (by family members). It is bad enough when it occurs inside the workplace. If harassment occurs at work, It is important that you go directly to your manager and report what happened. If you fail to do this, more of these advances will be done on you. Sometimes, many managers do not like to talk about these issues in an official capacity with their employees. If they suspect that this kind of behavior has occurred in their company, they should take immediate action to stop it. In cases where you have been sexually harassed by a co-worker, it may be difficult for you to decide whether or not to report the matter. In many cases, if a co-worker has been sexually harassing you, there is a good chance that other people in the company are aware of this. If nobody tells your boss about what happened and nothing gets done about it, then it will just get worse. It would only lead to disrupting their work because they will start thinking that everybody knows but no one’s doing anything about it. This type of behavior usually results in poor morale among the ranks at an organization.
Your company should have an anti-harassment policy that has been communicated to employees. If you are being sexually harassed by someone who isn’t in your workplace, but it affects how you do your job—like a customer, client, or vendor—you’ll need to keep records of all incidents and tell supervisors what’s going on. There are many sexual harassment lawyers who can help you file a lawsuit if that’s what you choose to do. Sexual harassment lawyers in Los Angeles and California are capable of guiding you through the process. It is also important to get a sexual harassment attorney because they can help you determine if what happened was indeed sexual harassment. If there were other people involved, it is usually a great idea to get them to sign your complaint as well because it shows the manager that you aren’t alone and this isn’t just a one-person issue. You should also make sure that everything written in your personal log or notebook makes its way into the official report, including the names of those who all witnessed each incident. It helps strengthen your case if several people come forward to say that they saw an instance of harassment. Most cases are thrown out when only one person claims harassment, and then no evidence is presented for support.
Be careful when you take action.
When you report sexual harassment at work, your claim can be met with disbelief, inaction, or even reprisal. The company may side with your accuser rather than believe your claims. It is imperative to ensure the company wants to make sure that they do not lose any investment they have made in their employees. They will pick whoever has more evidence at the workplace between both parties and assume one of them is probably right, which is usually the person who has more experience and seniority. Sometimes, this person may also be someone who works for their management team or holds a high position within the company. You should never ignore what’s happening.
Sexual harassment can be a traumatizing and humiliating experience. However, there are many resources that you can turn to if this is happening to you, including family, friends, colleagues, and lawyers who specialize in sexual harassment cases at work. Be careful when you take action and follow protocol.
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