When Should You Consult an Attorney?
At a promotional event for a project that your team has been working on, a coworker made you a vulgar proposition. This employee has made you uncomfortable before with sexual innuendos and other inappropriate conduct at work. However, you work in a firm and industry where “work hard/play hard” is a way of life, and you enjoy your work. You fear that making waves about your coworker, though justified, could come back to haunt you in your career. Should you talk to a lawyer at this point?
How Can a Lawyer Assist You?
When you are harassed at work, you may have many questions that need to be answered before deciding what, if anything, to do. Among them are the following:
What Is Sexual Harassment and How Does It Happen?
Any unwanted sexual approaches, requests for sexual favors, or any sexually motivated verbal or physical action that produces a hostile or uncomfortable work environment is considered sexual harassment. Not every insulting remark will be classified as sexual harassment under the law. If you believe you have been subjected to sexual harassment, you should consult with a lawyer as quickly as possible to determine whether the behavior fits the legal definition of harassment.
Before Reporting Sexual Harassment, Consult an Attorney
You may need to take specific steps to safeguard your rights even if you are being harassed. For instance, your workplace’s policy (or even the law) may compel you to report alleged sexual harassment to human resources or managerial workers to hold the business liable. (Note that if the harasser is a manager, the law does not need you to report the harassment for the employer to be held liable.) An experienced employment lawyer can assist you in determining which HR or another employee to report probable harassment to. A lawyer can also help you draft a description of the harassing behavior. If you get nervous when you speak with HR or a manager about the conduct (which is only natural), you’ll have the confidence to provide all of the relevant information clearly and calmly.
Assisting You in Self-Defense
An employment lawyer will advise you on various things to take to protect yourself helping you prepare to report the harassment. These steps could include the following:
It’s difficult to think clearly about how to respond when you’re dealing with workplace harassment. An employee who has been sexually harassed may be too emotionally depleted and bewildered to have the perspective on his or her situation needed to respond effectively. An employment lawyer can be a valuable resource in determining the best course of action.
Assistance During the Harassment Investigation
Any allegations of sexual harassment must be investigated by your employer, as required by law. Your employer is prohibited from taking any actions that would jeopardize your employment throughout the investigation. During the investigation, an experienced employment lawyer can check in with you to ensure that the employer is following the law. Do You Need a Lawyer for a Workplace Inquiry of Sexual Harassment? for more information about your rights during a sexual harassment investigation. Contact Yale Pollack Law Offices now.