Why Report Sexual Harassment?
A recent ABC News/Washington Post poll found that one in four women in the America has experienced sexual harassment in the workplace. Moreover, one out of ten men has experienced workplace sexual harassment, too, according to the study. As much as one quarter of men polled said they were afraid of being falsely accused of sexual harassment.
If you or someone you know has been experiencing sexual harassment in the workplace from colleagues or a supervisor, contact Ricotta & Marks, P.C. right away to tell your story. The most skilled sexual harassment lawyers NYC has to offer, our legal professionals are well-versed in federal, state and local laws that govern these cases.
Telltale Signs of Sexual Harassment
- Sexist Behavior – sexually charged jokes and remarks that make you and your coworkers uncomfortable constitute harassment. Coworkers, supervisors, or others might make subtle jabs at the opposite sex, or they may come right out and insult people because of their sex.
- Coercion/Bribery – known as “quid pro quo” this type of sexual harassment often offers a promotion, raise, or guarantee of employment in exchange for a sexual favor. Generally negative consequences are threatened such as a demotion, pay cut or termination if the request to participate is refused.
- Physical Harassment – the most obvious of workplace discrimination, physical harassment can include invading personal space by standing too closely, inappropriate touching or rubbing, among other improper behavior.
- Other Harassment – sexual harassment can take several forms including lewd comments or noises, sexually charged photos, writing, as well as pornography or sexist cartoons displayed in the workplace.
How to Report Sexual Harassment
Often, employees who experience discrimination or harassment aren’t comfortable bringing these incidents up with management in fear of retaliation. Others feel that those to whom the complaint is made will not believe the allegations. Still, some may not know how to even report it and are too embarrassed to ask.
Despite legal protections put in place for those who report sexual harassment, many do not because of fear of retaliation, being fired, or simply undeserving personal shame. As much as 70 percent of sexual harassment incidents go unreported. In 2012, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) received 7,500 reports of sexual harassment in the workplace. According to the Huffington Post, however, Fatima Goss Graves of the National Women’s Law Center recently testified that the actual number of those who have been victims of sexual harassment is likely much higher. The difficulty with sexual harassment cases, according to equalrights.org, is that the law requires a victim to establish severity or pervasiveness in order to succeed. In other words, off-hand remarks, teasing, or a single unwanted invitation or request generally does not rise to this standard.
If you or someone you know believes he or she is the victim of sexual harassment, there are several things that can be done. Specifically you may review the company’s employee handbook, figure out who you should report to, ask for a face-to-face meeting with HR, and follow up in writing. If the harassment continues or guest worse, contact a seasoned and compassionate sexual harassment attorney.
Do Not Suffer Alone
No two workplace harassment cases are the same. Do not be intimidated, as you have rights under state and federal laws. Employers often have the financial means to hire powerful lawyers to represent them in employment related legal issues. You should have aggressive advocates on your side, too. Whatever employment issue you may be facing, the knowledgeable legal professionals at White Ricotta & Marks P.C. can help. Call them today to schedule your initial, no obligation, case evaluation.