Sexual Harassment: When's the Right Time to Talk to a Lawyer?
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The issue of sexual harassment is not a new problem. It’s a frightening issue that has long kept victims quiet in offices and work environments everywhere. Victims of sexual harassment often hesitate to speak out, worried others won't believe them and suffering in silence.
Too many people are presently suffering, enduring sexual harassment because they simply don't know what to do. You need to take action – you have legal options, options that will protect you.
But how do you know if you’re experiencing sexual harassment?
The Legal Definition of Sexual Harassment
According to a 2016 report from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, one in four Americans have experienced workplace sexual harassment. It happens to men and women of all backgrounds.
The government defines workplace sexual harassment as "unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature." Sexual harassment is illegal, according to the 1964 Civil Rights Act.
But it isn’t just illegal to harass someone. It’s also illegal to retaliate against an individual who reports sexual harassment.
How to Know if Sexual Harassment is Happening to You
Sexual harassment claims vary widely. However, harassment can take some common forms. Here are a few signs that could mean you’re being sexually harassed:
1. Behavior That Makes You Uncomfortable
If you feel uncomfortable in any way, the behavior is harassment; for example, sexual jokes, sexual compliments, or sex talk that makes you feel uneasy.
2. Unwanted Advances
Whether it’s a coworker’s uninvited touching, asking about your sexual preferences, or insisting on meeting in private outside of work, these advances are some examples of harassment.
3. Ignoring When You Say "Stop"
If someone doesn't stop when you tell them to, it is an instance of clear harassment. You can say stop verbally or in other ways, such as pushing the person away or leaving an uncomfortable environment.
4. Behavior You're Afraid to Speak About
Whether you're afraid of retaliation or being disbelieved, any act that you feel uncomfortable reporting needs to be reported. If it doesn’t feel right, it isn’t right.
No matter the situation, if you’re feeling uncomfortable you need to act. What starts as discomfort can escalate into something more serious if you simply do nothing.
How a Lawyer Can Help
Once you believe you’re experiencing sexual harassment, a lawyer can be a huge ally and aid.
A lawyer can evaluate the legal merits of your claim and recommend an appropriate response. Before you make an official legal case, a lawyer can help you understand how to document the harassment and how to report it properly. With a lawyer’s help and knowledge, you protect yourself from retaliation and future harassment.
Navigating the sexual harassment complaint process is practically impossible without legal counsel. A lawyer has the legal know-how to protect you and fight for your safety.
Additionally, your lawyer can help you get monetary compensation. A lawyer can fight your harasser and the organization responsible for letting these horrible actions happen.
Stop Sexual Harassment With a Lawyer’s Help
Abusers won't stop if victims remain silent, so don't hesitate to report sexual harassment. The law is on your side. And, if you enlist the help of a lawyer, you can make your abuser face the consequences of their actions.
If you believe you may be a victim of sexual harassment, you need to contact a lawyer to discuss your case. A lawyer’s help is extremely beneficial, and setting up a consultation is the first step in taking action.
You can be compensated for your harassment – and a lawyer can help you win your case, getting you financial retribution and safety and security at work. Don’t suffer harassment; take action, pursue the kind treatment you deserve with a lawyer.
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