Sexual harassment in the workplace is illegal. Unfortunately, this vice remains quite rampant. Sexual harassment demoralizes the victim, affects productivity and results in high turnover. As a result, the organization loses both talent and profits.
If you are a victim of sexual harassment at the workplace, you may feel angry, hurt, confused and overwhelmed. It is easy to make mistakes that can hurt your case, especially when your emotions are running high.
Here are three common mistakes you should avoid if you are in an unfortunate situation of dealing with sexual harassment.
1. Failing to know your rights
The Civil Rights Act of 1964 protects employees from discrimination based on their color, sex, race, disability and nation or origin. In other words, you must never feel apprehensive about standing up for justice if you feel your rights are being violated by way of sexual harassment.
You have every right to confront the perpetrator (if you are comfortable) and let them know you do not appreciate what they are doing and you demand that they stop immediately. Failure to rise up and take action against the perpetrator will only embolden them to carry on with the bad behavior.
2. Failing to document the harassment
Like with any other legal matter, sexual harassment claims are won or lost based on both parties’ accounts of what really happened. And the last thing you want is seeing your abuser walk scot-free on grounds of lack of/or insufficient evidence against them. To make a watertight sexual harassment case, it is important that you clearly document the following:
- The name of the perpetrator
- The nature of the harassment
- When the incident happened (time and date)
- Any witnesses to the harassment
3. Quitting your job
Most people contemplate quitting their work as soon as the harassment begins so they can remove themselves from the hostile environment. However, it is important to understand that this is never going to solve anything. Besides, in quitting, you may be giving up your ability to sue the perpetrator.
No one deserves a hostile work environment. If you are a victim of sexual harassment in the workplace, avoiding these mistakes can go a long way in ensuring that you get justice.