Myths about sexual harassment hinder victims from filing a complaint against their harasser and thus, jeopardizing back pays and compensatory damages that they are entitled to.
Here are the top four facts that workers must be aware of:
- Complainants may be either male or female and the harasser can be of the same or the opposite gender as his harasser.
- Aside from the victim, a co-worker affected by the sexual harassment in the workplace can also file a complaint about it.
- The harasser can be the victim's employer, supervisor, co-worker, or even a non-employee.
- The complaint can be filed even if there were no economic damages that resulted from the harassment or if the harassed wasn't wrongfully terminated.
Sexual harassment is defined as any unwelcome or uninvited advances made by the harasser against the victims. Teasing, offensive jokes, remarks, questions, and gestures that are sexual in nature can be construed as harassment.
Aside from this, any other conduct such as producing written or printed material as well as leaning over, deliberate pinching, touching, and cornering is also considered as sexual harassment. Pressure to go to dates and the attempted or actual assault or rape also constitutes unlawful sexual harassment.
What employers can do
The company may be sued by harassed workers even if the employers didn't commit the actual harassment if the victim can prove that they condoned the unlawful practice in the workplace.
To prevent this, employers must:
- Make company policy regarding harassment and other offenses
- Investigate all the complaints filed by employees
- Punish harassers for their offenses
Facing lawsuits regarding maltreatment of employees will certainly taint the reputation of the company. It is best to observe preventive measures than risking economic losses as the company is ordered to give backpays and compensate the damages of the harassed.
What the harassed employee can do
After the harassment, it would be best for the victim to gather as much evidence as he can to prove his claims. These can be the materials sent to harass the worker or any video or audio recordings of the incident.
After these pieces of evidence have been gathered, the harassed worker can consult with Los Angeles harassment lawyers who will determine his eligibility to file a complaint. Be complacent in knowing that these experts have handled cases similar to yours and there's no reason to be ashamed of detailing the incident.