Every employee deserves a workplace in which they can feel safe, secure, and comfortable. Sexual harassment is unacceptable. Federal and state laws—including the Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Connecticut Fair Employment Practices Act—provide legal protections against sex-based harassment for workers in Connecticut. If you were a victim of sexual harassment or sexual misconduct in the workplace, you need to know how to protect your rights. Here, our Connecticut sexual harassment lawyer highlights four key steps you should take.
- Tell Your Harasser to Stop (If You Feel Comfortable and Safe Enough to Do So)
No employee should be forced to endure sexual harassment in the workplace. You have the right to assert yourself and tell the harasser/perpetrator that their behavior makes you uncomfortable and is unwelcome. This is often the best first step—especially if the sexual harassment is coming from a co-worker or a supervisor. That being said, if you do not feel safe enough or comfortable to directly tell the harasser to stop their behavior, this step can be skipped.
- Document the Sexual Harassment—Write Down What Happened and Preserve Evidence
Employment law claims are complicated. As you are probably already aware, a sexual harassment case can become a he-said/she-said matter. To the best of your ability, you should try to document the sexual harassment. First and foremost, write down exactly what happened. Contemporaneous notes are a valuable form of evidence in sexual harassment cases. Next, write down the names of any other employees (or individuals) who witnessed the harassment. Finally, save any other relevant evidence such as emails or text messages.
- Secure a Copy of Your Company Employee Handbook and/or Anti-Harassment Policy
Does your company have an employee handbook and/or an anti-workplace harassment policy? If so, it is useful to secure each document. The company may provide some internal guidance for dealing with sexual harassment in the workplace—including the specific steps to take to have the matter addressed properly.
- Formally Complain to Your Supervisor/Department of Human Resources
Finally, you should always formally complain about workplace sexual harassment in writing to your supervisor and/or the Department of Human Resources (HR). Connecticut employers have certain responsibilities under state and federal law. If your employer is covered by the Connecticut Fair Employment Practices Act, your employer cannot take any adverse action against you for reporting sexual harassment. Making a written complaint helps to establish protections against retaliation.
Call Our Hartford, CT Workplace Sexual Harassment Lawyers Today
At Hayber, McKenna & Dinsmore, LLC, our Connecticut employment law attorneys have the legal skills and professional experience to represent workers in all types of sexual harassment claims. If you were the victim of sexual harassment committed by a coworker, supervisor, or customer, we can help. Contact us today to set up a confidential case evaluation. With office locations in Hartford and New Haven, we advocate for the rights of employees throughout all of Connecticut.