The workplace should be a safe place—one without the concern that one of your coworkers might say or do something inappropriate. This is your job, and feeling unsafe there could make working and keeping that job difficult or impossible.
Fortunately, you have a chance to fight back when a coworker is making you feel threatened or unsafe. You might have already reviewed your employer’s rules against sexual harassment, but what can you do to stop sexual harassment or seek justice for it?
Fighting back against sexual harassment in the workplace is important. Your workplace shouldn’t leave you feeling threatened, so you may need to take legal action when a fellow employee makes your work experience frightening or dangerous.
What Is Sexual Harassment in the Workplace?
First, keep in mind that sexual harassment is a serious offense that your employer should take seriously. Whether the harasser is a coworker or a manager, you have the right to a harassment-free workplace. But what does that include?
Sexual harassment can come in many forms, and any of these could warrant a discussion with your employer, if not further action:
- Jokes or Pranks – While a single inappropriate joke might not raise many eyebrows, many workers regularly experience inappropriate jokes or comments on their looks or clothing. Repeat incidents can be uncomfortable and may make you feel unsafe in your workplace.
- Inappropriate Touching – You have a right to not be touched in an unwanted way. If another employee grabs, slaps, or otherwise touches you in a sexual way, you should speak to your employer immediately.
- Visible Displays of a Sexual Nature – In some cases, another employee might act with more subtlety to upset you. He or she may display a graphic picture or have a screensaver of a sexual or demeaning nature. The offender’s coworkers, including you, shouldn’t be subjected to these actions.
Who’s Responsible for Your Damages?
In the end, you may decide that your only recourse is to file a civil lawsuit. Your next step to getting compensation will be to determine who’s responsible for the incident, especially if your employer attempted to retaliate against you for reporting the misconduct.
In many cases, your employer will be at least partially responsible for the incident—if he or she should have been aware of the incidents or retaliated by firing you after you reported the harassment. Employers are responsible for maintaining the safety of the workplace, and if they don’t act when an employee feels endangered, they may be held accountable alongside the sexual harasser.
Help Fighting Back
It’s unfortunate, but you might have suffered sexual harassment in the workplace and been left to deal with the fallout. It’s a problem for many New Yorkers, but fortunately, you can act to get the justice you deserve.
At Greenstein & Milbauer, LLP, we take incidents like this seriously, and we can help when you’re fighting back against sexual harassment in the workplace. Starting with a free consultation, we’ll discuss your claim and what we can do for you. For more information or to schedule your free consultation, call us at 1-800-VICTIM2 (842-8462) or complete the online contact form below.