Massachusetts workers have the right to a workplace that is free from harassment and other types of mistreatment. When you go to work in the morning, you expect safety and fair treatment. There are both state and federal laws that protect your rights in the workplace, yet despite these protections, people still experience things like discrimination and harassment.
Sexual harassment of any kind is unacceptable, and it can be especially difficult if you experienced this type of treatment at work. Employees who are dealing with this issue at work may feel powerless, but there are certain things they can do to protect their rights and hold liable parties accountable. You may find it beneficial to learn what to do if this happened to you.
Steps you can take
Responding to sexual harassment is not easy, especially when you are unsure of what to do next. You may feel intimidated by your situation, and you may even fear for your job if you fight back. It may help to remember that you have certain rights, including the right to seek legal guidance during this difficult time. Some of the following steps may be helpful for you:
- Speak up about what happened – It is your right to vocalize what happened to you. You have the right to tell the offending party that his or her behavior is offensive, and you have the right to notify others of what happened.
- Follow the right procedure – You can then follow the procedures your employer has regarding sexual harassment claims. If there is no set procedure, you can then bring your concerns to your supervisor.
- File an administrative charge – If speaking with your supervisor is not effective, you may want to file an administrative charge with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
- File a lawsuit – Finally, it may be appropriate to file a lawsuit against your employer for any physical injuries and emotional duress you experienced as a result of sexual harassment in your workplace.
It's not easy to navigate the aftermath of experiencing sexual harassment in the workplace. You may find it helpful to seek legal guidance from the very beginning, working with a lawyer who can help you fight back against sexual harassment. You do not have to suffer in silence, but you can take certain steps to protect your interests, hold the right parties accountable and make sure that this type of treatment never happens again at your work.