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Get in contact with experienced attorney early to address sexual harassment in workplace

In our last post, we began looking at the topic of sexual harassment and recognizing the signs and forms it may take. As we noted, two common forms of sexual harassment are quid pro quo and hostile work environment.

Recognizing the signs of sexual harassment, or the potential signs, is important not only to ensure that appropriate action is swiftly taken to address the situation with the employer, but also to ensure that everything is documented so that the employer can be held accountable later on if the situation is not effectively handled. When sexual harassment is recognized for what it is, appropriate steps can be taken to make sure it is addressed, both with the responsible parties and the employer, and with an experienced attorney if necessary. 

For employees questioning whether they should contact an attorney about an uncomfortable workplace situation, sexual harassment should not be thought of as having to fall within a defined category and having to meet certain requirements from the outset. The main thing is to recognize when there are offensive, unwanted actions or words which are sexual in nature and which are directed at an individual because of his or her sex. If an incident at work fits that general description and has caused an individual discomfort or humiliation, or prevented the individual from doing his or her job effectively, it is worth contacting an attorney.

In other words, if there is a suspicion that sexual harassment has occurred and it’s affecting an employee on the job, don’t wait. Document what has occurred, report it to the employer and consult with an attorney to have the situation investigated and to determine the options. Getting in contact with an experienced attorney early on can help prevent the situation from escalating, and can prevent an employee from being subjected to retaliation for bringing the harassment to light. 

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