Whenever an individual is sexually harassed in the workplace, he or she might wonder about the best way to handle the situation. Sexual harassment is a problem not only for women, but for men as well. Thousands of charges related to sexual harassment are filed by both genders with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission on a yearly basis. But what many victims of harassment don’t know is that there may be instances in which their employers can be held legally responsible for the harassment.
Your Atlanta sexual harassment lawyer will tell you that employers can face legal liability for the actions of their employees if the employers fail to appropriately supervise and control alleged harassers. Employers can also face claims related to negligent hiring and retention of such individuals.
How Can Sexual Harassment Victims Prove Their Cases?
For an employer to be legally responsible for an employee’s acts of sexual harassment based on negligent hiring and retention, certain elements must be met. First of all, the victim of the harassment must be able to demonstrate that the employer knew or should have known of the accused employee’s inclination to engage in the harassment that caused harm to the victim. If the employer had knowledge of prior acts of harassment committed by the perpetrator, the victim’s case will certainly be stronger.
That said, individuals who believe they have claims against their employers for negligent hiring and retention or supervision should work with skilled attorneys as soon as possible because time is of the essence in such claims. Working with a knowledgeable Atlanta sexual harassment lawyer will ensure that a thorough investigation is done into the employer’s hiring practices, including whether the employer performed a sufficient background check of the employee prior to hiring him or her.
Additionally, with respect to the negligent retention of an alleged sexual harasser, a skilled lawyer will also evaluate whether or not the employer, during the course of the working relationship with the accused individual, failed to take reasonable steps to remedy the situation once the employer learned or should have learned of the employee’s tendencies to engage in harassing behavior.
What Should You Do If You’ve Been Sexually Harassed?
One of the first things that an individual who believes he or she has been sexually harassed should do is to alert the employer. Doing so will put the employer on notice about the harassment. It is especially important for an employee who has been harassed to use their employer’s reasonable procedures for reporting unlawful harassment. Failure to use such procedures can result in the employer avoiding liable for further actions by the harasser.
Once an employer learns of the harassment, the employer should take steps to remedy the situation and should keep a watchful eye of the employee in question. Sometimes the harasser will be reported to the police. Failing to properly supervise an accused sexual harasser can also lead to legal liability for the employer.
Victims of sexual harassment typically have concerns about what they can do to fight back. If you have been sexually harassed and would like more information about your possible legal remedies, contact an Atlanta sexual harassment lawyer at Parks, Chesin & Walbert right away. Let us help you fight for your rights.