Sexual harassment in the workplace is more common than people realize, but it often goes unreported because many victims do not want to risk losing their jobs if they discuss the issue with their employers. According to a report released by the Everyday Sexism Project, both men and women are experiencing workplace harassment on a routine basis. Your Atlanta sexual harassment lawyer will tell you that oftentimes, the victims are blamed for the occurrence of sexual harassment; however, more and more companies and individuals are starting to take such claims and allegations much more seriously.
Other studies have been done that show that women in the workplace have had co-workers look down their blouses and have had comments made about their breasts. One study found that approximately 40 percent of the males in the study had experienced sexual harassment as well; however, both the men and women involved say that they’ve kept the incidents to themselves.
What Is Considered Sexual Harassment?
Generally speaking, sexual harassment is any offensive and/or unwelcome sexual conduct against an individual that takes place in the workplace. Examples of such harassment can include things such as remarks that are sexual in nature, requests for participation in sexual activities, unwelcome physical touching that’s sexual in nature and even emails and/or texts that are of a sexual nature. Your Atlanta sexual harassment lawyer knows that employment law strictly prohibits sexual harassment in the workplace, and individuals should note that it doesn’t matter whether the harasser is the same sex or the opposite sex.
What Can A Victim Do?
One of the first things that an individual who has experienced sexual harassment in the workplace should do is to tell the harasser that they find his or her behavior to be offensive and ask the person to stop. If the employer has specific policies regarding the sexual harassment and reporting such behaviors to management, the victim should be sure to follow the procedures as discussed in the policy. It bears mentioning that victims who do not follow the policies as set forth by the employer might have a difficult time proving their claims should they end up being litigated.
Many people know, though, that there are times when reporting the harassment to management does not help, particularly if it is someone in management who is the harasser. Still, victims should keep in mind that if the conduct continues once it has been reported properly, the employer and/or the harasser might be subject to litigation under both state and federal laws.
There are a number of remedies available to the victims of sexual harassment, to include possibly receiving back pay, compensatory damages for things like pain and suffering and even punitive damages that are designed to punish the employer. Depending on the specifics of the case, some victims might also receive payments to cover things such as court costs, attorney’s fees and expert witness fees, where applicable.
Anyone who has experienced sexual harassment in the workplace is strongly encouraged to speak with an Atlanta sexual harassment lawyer at Parks, Chesin & Walbert right away. Let us help you put an end to the harassment. Call us today.