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Sexual Harassment: Coming Forward

Published on August 28th, 2020

Criminal Lawyer

From the time women and minorities entered the workplace they have fought for equal treatment. It can be surprising to think that in this day in age there are still cultures within companies where people have experiences of sexual discrimination or harassment. The Civil Rights Act came first, followed by the Women’s Movement of the 1960’s. Although change has happened, it has been slow. With the recent “Me Too” Movement, women have called for change. This has resulted in men, women, and minorities coming forward to point the finger at those who have harassed them or treated them unfairly. Despite all of this, it can still be difficult for a person to move forward when they have experienced sexual harassment. 

The Women’s Movement and “Me Too”

The Women’s Movement of the sixties was a call to action by women in seeking equal treatment in all areas of their lives. During this time, women advocated for:

  • Equal Rights in the Workplace
  • Reproductive Rights
  • Equal Rights in the Military
  • Sexual Harassment Laws in the Workplace
  • Violence Prevention Against Women

Interestingly enough, these are all hot button issues that women still continue to fight for. Unfortunately, it is all too common for sexual harassment to continue to go unreported. For a number of years, women have remained hidden, not coming forward for fear of the residual impact they may be forced to face. “Me Too” has been in the spotlight in recent months as women come forward to remove the stigma of sexual violence and harassment. 

Steps You Should Take if You Are Experiencing Sexual Harassment 

For many, sexual harassment, especially at work, can come as a shock. Some feel uncomfortable coming forward. In some situations, it can be so unbelievable that someone has treated you so inappropriately that you may even find ways to justify your experience. It’s incredibly common for sexual harassment in the workplace to go unreported. Being sexually harassed can sometimes be difficult to identify. Sexual harassment is not always as blatantly obvious as some may believe. Once you have determined that what you have experienced was, in fact, harassment, you may find it helpful to take the following steps: 

  • Determine what may happen if you report the harassment to the company you work for. Depending on the culture of your company, you could face repercussions for the harassment you endured. This form of discrimination is illegal and could have severe ramifications for your company. Although it may be challenging, reporting sexual harassment to your employer can give them the opportunity to correct the problem. 
  • Speak with the person who is harassing you directly and ask them to stop. Sometimes, this could stop the harassment. 
  • If you have experienced sexual harassment, take the time to determine if the company has any policies in place regarding sexual harassment. This can help act as a guide to how you should move forward. 
  • Keep clear documentation and records of the harassment you experienced. This is vital in the event that you file a complaint with the EEOC or determine that taking legal action is in your best interest. 
  • Consult with an attorney. They can be helpful in guiding you through next steps. 

If you have filed a complaint with your employer and experienced adverse effects, it may be time to contact  a lawyer, like a discrimination litigation lawyer in Washington, DC from Eric Siegel Law. With their support, you can have an experienced professional guide you through the process of taking legal action towards your company and the person who harassed you.

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