Sexual harassment is sometimes a broad term that can be misunderstood and misconstrued. Although the term is sometimes used lightly to describe any type of unwanted attention, in legal terms, sexual harassment is a very specific type of crime. For individuals who are serious about pursuing a sexual harassment case in court, it is important that you understand what sexual harassment is and is not.
What Is Sexual Harassment?
According to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), sexual harassment is any type of sexual behavior in the workplace which can include, “sexual harassment or unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical harassment of a sexual nature.” In addition to this, the EEOC adds that, ”harassment does not have to be of a sexual nature, however, and can include offensive remarks about a person’s sex.”
Sexual harassment is often understood to be harassment which is focused on a person’s sex, or harassment which is of a sexual nature. Both of these types of behaviors are illegal. If this type of harassment is severe enough to affect your employment situation, or if you have been promised benefits, promotions, or positions in exchange for sexual activity, you may have grounds to pursue a lawsuit against those creating a sexually harassing environment.
How Will Work Be Affected?
One of the main reasons people are hesitant to pursue sexual harassment lawsuits is for fear of how it will affect their job and career. There will almost always be certain consequences of pursuing a lawsuit in this type of situation.
Many employees notice that their co-workers will begin to take sides. This is a natural response considering that all workers within a work environment will have relationships and loyalties with their co-workers. You should keep in mind when this happens that not everyone will be able to have the full story. It is best to stay neutral concerning this aspect of your situation.
You will also notice that the management in your place of employment will take some sort of action. In some cases, this action will be just and in other cases it will not. This is one of the reasons why it is very important to get legal assistance early on if you are serious about pursuing a lawsuit. If you feel that there is a possibility of your getting fired as a result of reporting sexual harassment it is vital that you have legal assistance on your side early on.
Key Things to Remember During Your Case
It is of utmost importance that you tell the truth at all times. Inflating the truth or understating the truth can both be equally harmful to your case. If you have a legitimate sexual harassment case, then the simple truth will be plenty to prove the injustice which has been done to you.
When it is time to have an interview with the Human Resources representative at your place of employment it will be very beneficial that you have legal assistance in your corner to make sure you are not pressured in any way to downplay the injustice that was done.
A knowledgeable lawyer can assist you with filing the appropriate complaints with your HR department. Securing legal assistance before you file a complaint with HR will send a very strong message to your employer that you are serious about this situation and that no further harassment or intimidation coming from any level will be tolerated.
Will I Receive Money as Part of My Case?
It is very difficult to predict whether or not a victim will receive money as a result of their sexual harassment case. It is important to note that if very much time is allowed to elapse between the onset of the sexual harassment and the reporting of said harassment, the value of the case does go down. There are definitely questions raised as to why a victim would wait to report the problem. Sexual harassment is a serious crime and should be reported quickly.
What Else Can I Do?
Securing a sexual harassment lawyer in San Diego and reporting your sexual harassment case to HR will be your first steps in this process. Due to the nature of our legal systems, lawsuits can often take some time. While you are waiting, though, there are other things you can do to help yourself heal and move on with your life.
If you feel that the sexual harassment has been damaging emotionally, it is a good idea to seek out the services of a therapist or counselor. This will help you to process what has happened and also help you to stay calm and centered during the stress of your legal proceedings.
Self-care is very important during this time. The person who harassed you has already taken too much. You must make a conscious decision and take conscious steps to not allow this person to take any more of your peace of mind or health. Focus on your health and emotional healing and well-being during this time.