Sexual harassment in the workplace is not always obvious. The signs are often very subtle, which allows the harassment to continue while victims wonder what to do. If you are being harassed, state andfederal law allows you to file a claim for damages, particularly if you have been demoted or fired as part of the harassment. First though, you must determine that harassment is occurring. Below, our Springfield employment lawyer outlines five signs that you are being harassed.
Conversations of a Sexual Nature in the Workplace
If a co-worker or manager starts asking you questions about your own sexual life, you may know that is harassment. However, it is also harassment if co-workers and others have conversations of a sexual nature in the workplace, even if they do not speak directly to you. If these types of conversations make you uncomfortable, ask whoever is engaging in them to stop and then report them.
Distributing Material of a Sexual Nature
Many people cannot imagine material of a sexual nature being distributed around their workplace. It happens more often than people think though, particularly in male-dominated industries, such as construction. Just as you would with conversations of a sexual nature, ask whoever is distributing the material to stop and file a complaint with Human Resources, or the appropriate party.
Acting Sexual in Nature
You may realize that inappropriate touching is sexual harassment because the behavior is so obvious. However, co-workers, managers, and employers may act more subtly. It is enough to make you feel uncomfortable, but not so noticeable that anyone passing by would notice. For example, your boss may stand too close to you every time they talk to you, or make comments about your body. These are both types of sexual harassment.
You Cannot Get Support
You should always feel free to talk to Human Resources any time you believe you are being sexually harassed. If HR dismisses the complaint or says something such as the person harassing you makes too much money for the company so they cannot take disciplinary action, that is also sexual harassment.
You are Being Retaliated Against
If you have reported sexual harassment to Human Resources and have been demoted, or evenwrongfully terminated, that is sexual harassment. All employers should make sure their employees feel comfortable about coming forward with complaints, and retaliating against them for it is against the law.
Our Employment Lawyers in Springfield Can Protect You from Harassment
If you believe you have been the victim of sexual harassment in the workplace, our Springfield employment lawyers can help. At Hayber, McKenna & Dinsmore, LLC, our skilled attorneys can determine if harassment is occurring and if so, help you make things right. We will make sure the harassment stops, and help you claim the full damages you deserve. Call us today at (413) 785-1400 or contact us online to schedule a consultation and to learn more about your legal options.