Sexual harassment in the workplace can make you feel small and helpless. You may think that if you speak up, you could lose your job. There might even be times when you feel physically threatened by your harasser.
Fortunately, there are progressive steps that you can take to address your situation. Searching the internet for a labor law attorney in Orlando might be a good first action. Professionals are often willing to explain the proper procedures to you.
1. Address Your Concerns in Person
It might be hard for you to believe at first, but it’s possible the person making you uncomfortable doesn’t understand how it affects you. Be kind, but assertive. Let the person know that what they are doing makes you uneasy. Speak to the person privately, but try to do it in a place where you are visible to other people. If the conversation doesn’t go well, you may want help.
2. Follow Your Company’s Harassment Policy
If the harassment continues or worsens, it’s probably time to address the problem with your employer. If your company has a sexual harassment policy, it should have guidelines for reporting the event. If not, speak with the human resources department or a supervisor you trust.
3. File a Charge With the EEOC
If making the report causes your harasser or the company to retaliate, they are breaking the law. You have the right to file a discrimination complaint with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. You can discuss your issue confidentially with the EEOC if you’re unsure of your options. Be aware that you have a limited window of time — usually between six months to a year — to file a charge.
Don’t be afraid: the mere act of standing up for yourself could empower you to see the entire crisis through and come out well on the other side. The vital takeaway is that harassment will likely get worse if you don’t address the problem today.