Sexual Harassment Usually Involves an Uneven Power Dynamic
Sexual harassment in the workplace often involves harassment by a more senior employee against a more subordinate employee. In other words, in most cases, it is the boss sexually harassing somebody who directly reports to the boss, and not the other way around.
The ability to affect one’s job, income, and financial well-being is, in many cases, leads to the belief by supervisors that they could do whatever they like without real consequences. For this very same reason, the victims of sexual harassment are often scared to come forward and complain.
Victims of sexual harassment fear losing their job, income, and financial stability. Victims of sexual harassment will, in some cases, endure the harassment hoping that it will somehow stop on its own. Most victims of sexual harassment eventually realize, however, that simply ignoring the problem isn’t going to resolve it, and that they have to come forward and take action.
Following are some things sexual harassment victims should consider before coming forward.
Be Direct and Specific – Do Not Sugarcoat
The fear of losing one’s job does not vanish, even when the sexual harassment victim chooses to complain. For this reason, victims of sexual harassment will try to “avoid making waves” by sugarcoating what happened or using language that sounds more professional.
The problem with this is that professional-sounding language will almost always downplay the harassment. For example, if a boss makes a sexually charged comment about the victim’s body, the victim should report the comment verbatim, no matter how crass it may be. The facts are what they are, and withholding the details helps the harasser and hurts the victim.
If the victim has mustered the courage to come forward, then that is exactly what he or she should do. If anything, the victim will hurt his or her chances of getting some sort of reprieve by downplaying, sugarcoating, or otherwise minimizing the improper conduct of the harasser.
Complain in Writing – Have A Clear Record
Victims of sexual harassment will often mention something in passing without ever committing it to write. Some do this because they are scared. Others do this because they mistakenly believe that the human resources representative or another company representative to whom the complaint is being made is going to be appalled and act with the victim’s best interests in mind.
While many upstanding HR professionals will do the right thing and act to protect the victim, there are also many others who will do everything in their power to protect the company from liability. Protecting the company is a part of their job, in most cases. One of the ways in which the recipient of a sexual harassment complaint might try to protect the company is by denying that a complaint was made, or forgetting the critical components of that complaint, making it seem like the complaint was about something more benign.
A good way to avoid this result is to document everything in writing. Each complaint should be made in writing and should contain as much detailed factual information about what happened as possible so that there could never be any question about what the victim of sexual harassment complained about.
Contact Akopyan Law Firm A.P.C. for Advice
Akopyan Law Firm A.P.C is a highly experienced and knowledgeable firm in the field of sexual harassment claims in the workplace. Our dedicated attorneys are well-equipped to help you if you have been faced with such an issue. We understand the importance of protecting your rights and we strive to secure justice.
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Akopyan Law Firm A.P.C. provides experienced legal advice for those who have been victims of sexual abuse in the workplace. Our attorneys are committed to representing clients with integrity and courage, fighting back against any form of workplace harassment or discrimination. Our talented team will always be there to offer support and guidance throughout the duration of your case. We understand the importance of standing up against injustices and defending your rights, so don’t hesitate to reach out for help if you need it. We are proud to assist those in Southern California, including Glendale, Burbank, and Los Angeles. Contact us today.