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How to Handle Unwanted Sexual Advances at Work

Have you experienced unwanted sexual advances during the course of your employment? You may be wondering how to put an end to the harassment and also, whether or not you can hold your employer responsible for what has happened. Well, you do not have to suffer and there are solutions. To learn more, read on.

What is Sexual Harassment?

Sexual harassment includes, but is not limited to:

  • unwanted sexual advances;
  • requiring sexual favors in exchange for employment benefits;
  • retaliation;
  • suggestive sexual conduct, including: leering, gestures, or displaying sexual content;
  • derogatory or suggestive humor;
  • suggestive or sexual comments, whether spoken or written;
  • physical touching or impeding movement.

This list is not exhaustive—other unwanted sexual advances, suggestive conduct, or derogatory behavior not listed here, might also qualify as sexual harassment. Furthermore, harassment need not occur on the job site in order to qualify as workplace sexual harassment. If, for example, a coworker makes unwanted sexual advances towards another coworker during an offsite business trip, that still constitutes sexual harassment.

Handling Unwanted Sexual Advances

If you have experienced sexual harassment at work, you may decide to directly confront the harasser. If you do, an employment attorney can help you navigate this difficult confrontation. But if you are not comfortable confronting your harasser, you should still take the following steps to ensure that you are able to hold your company responsible for the harassment you have suffered.

The most important step is to make a written record detailing and objecting to the abuse. This document should be detailed, and specify: who, what, where, when, and how the abuse occurred. Second, the written objection should be timely. Third, the written objection should be even-keeled. Even though you must describe the abuse and how it made you feel, refrain from name-calling, or profane slander.

After recording your complaint in writing, you should follow-up with the HR department and ask them to investigate your claims. If you are fired, do not agree to severance or other settlements. Your employer may try to convince you that you have to accept certain terms, before receiving your final paycheck in order to preclude you from taking later action against them. But you do not need to agree to any settlements to receive your final paycheck.

Above all else, call an attorney as soon as possible to ensure that you do not lose any claims that you may have.

It is worth noting that your employee may not retaliate or threaten to retaliate against you for reporting sexual harassment. So, if you are fired for reporting sexual harassment then you may have claims for not only the harassment itself, but also the retaliation.

Contact a California Employment Attorney

If you have been sexually harassed in the workplace, you may be reeling from disrespect and discomfort, as well as daunted by the road ahead. But you do not need to navigate confronting your employer alone. Nassiri Law Group’s compassionate employment attorneys, practicing in Orange County, Los Angeles, and Riverside have the skill to help you get justice after your sexual harassment. Call (949) 375-4734 for a free case consultation.

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