Sexual harassment can happen in many ways, and sometimes, you might not even know whether you experienced sexual harassment. You might think you are overreacting to something that happened at work, but if you suspect you were the victim of unlawful harassment, there are steps you should take. Even if you are unsure, you should never hesitate to set up a no-cost, confidential consultation with a sexual harassment attorney.
The following are some examples of when you should definitely contact a lawyer right away. However, outside of the below contexts, always feel free to discuss concerns or possible harassment with an attorney. A sexual harassment law firm can help you determine whether you experienced unlawful conduct.
Your Boss Engages in Inappropriate Conduct and Involves Your Job
One type of sexual harassment at work is called “quid pro quo” harassment, and this is an extremely serious matter. In these situations, the harasser is someone with authority over your job, such as a boss, supervisor, or the owner of the company. This individual might request sexual conduct from you and put your job on the line in the process.
- Your boss makes sexual advances on a business trip and threatens to fire you or give you a bad professional review if you decline
- Your boss calls you in for a meeting in their office and asks for sexual favors, offering you a raise or a promotion if you agree
Whether the harasser threatens your job or makes promises of advancement, this is strictly against the law when tied to sexual conduct and requests. You do not need to report this conduct to your employer for you to have the right to take legal action. Instead, your first call should be to a sexual harassment lawyer to determine the best course of action.
You Have a Hostile Work Environment Due to Sexual Harassment
Not all sexual harassment comes from an authority figure, and many people experience offensive sex-related comments, jokes, questions, touching, advances, messages, and more from coworkers or others in the workplace. If you feel comfortable doing so, you should always report this conduct to your supervisor or human resources department. Your employer should respond appropriately to investigate your complaint and put a stop to the offensive conduct.
If your employer does not effectively stop the harassment, it can create a hostile work environment. In this situation, your employer is not helping you, and you face work conditions that are intolerable due to pervasive or offensive sexual harassment. This is the time when you should always contact a sexual harassment lawyer.
If you are experiencing this type of hostile work environment harassment, you should call an attorney if:
- The harasser is a boss or company owner, or you otherwise do not feel comfortable making a complaint internally
- Your employer fails to stop the harassment
- Your employer retaliates against you for complaining of possible harassment
If you have any concerns about workplace sexual harassment at all, a trusted lawyer is ready to help and provide the guidance you need.