Know your rights : Workplace Sexual Harassment

Sexual harassment disrupts the peace of the victim and in some cases makes them feel powerless. If the harasser intimidates the victim, it even leads to mental agony of the victim. It is always wise to talk to a friend or a superior about the incidents and to get advice from them for handling the same. Reporting sexual harassment is advisable as it puts an end to the issues and makes the victim feel better.

” It is really important to stand up for yourself and not always agree with what people say if indeed you don’t feel that that is true. “

Every organization has a set of policies which are specially framed to handle the sexual harassment cases. These set of policies must be within your reach and sometimes they are specified in your employee handbook. Refer to these policies to make your stand strong on your case. There will be a mandatory set of procedure to carry out when a sexual harassment case is being filed. In case, you are not very much satisfied with these procedures you can state the same to your superior.

Dealing it the legal way :

Some organizations may not reach a conclusion on the case which is filed by the victim. In such a case, the victim has all the rights to escalate the issue. Even if a conclusion was reached and the victim is not satisfied with the outcome, he / she can express the same to the board of the company.

In these case, it is always recommended to seek legal advice. You can contact your employment attorney and brief him with the case. Make sure you let him know that you are not satisfied with the proceedings of the company.

Litigation : 

A law suit can be filed against your organization in the extreme cases. This can be done only if you have a ‘right to sue’ letter from an appropriate governmental agency. You will have to hire a legal attorney and proceed with the case. Most of the cases are trialed in civil courts while a few of the sexual harassment cases are considered criminal.

Litigation is mostly done when a person loses his / her job after he / she filed a sexual harassment case in the organization. The organization must take full responsibility of the employee and must take necessary actions against the harasser. If the organization fails to do so, then a law suit can be filed against the company.

The employees can also force the employer to form the right policies to address sexual harassment in the workplace. The employees have full right to participate in these policy making sessions and make the employer know their need for the same. The managers and supervisors must reiterate the policies in every company meeting and create awareness programs to make the employees know the policies and rules of the organization.


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Sources

  1. http://employment.findlaw.com/employment-discrimination/sexual-harassment-actions-you-can-take.html
  2. http://www.un.org/womenwatch/osagi/pdf/whatissh.pdf

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