Sexual harassment can impact the victim’s job performance and daily life in a detrimental way which is why victims of sexual harassment in the workplace should be familiar with their options. Victims should also ensure that their questions are answered so they can protect their rights in the workplace and understand that they do not have to suffer sexual harassment.
The first step in some sexual harassment circumstances may be to speak up and it is also important to follow whatever steps are outlined in the employer’s procedure for handling sexual harassment in the workplace and addressing sexual harassment concerns. If the employer does not have a procedure in place for dealing with sexual harassment in the workplace, the employee should bring a complaint and ensure the employer is aware of the sexual harassment.
Additional options may include bringing an administrative charge through the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission which is a procedure victims of sexual harassment should also be familiar with. Litigation may be another option to consider but because it can be complex, especially when government entities are involved, trained guidance through the process is useful. Remedies through litigation may include reinstatement if a job was lost; back pay; lost fringe benefits; emotional distress damages; a requirement that an employer address sexual harassment in the workplace; and other damages and costs as well.
It is also important to keep in mind that workers should not suffer retaliation or discrimination for reporting sexual harassment in the workplace. Workers should be familiar with all of their rights and protections when confronting sexual harassment in the workplace.