Do you feel as though you are dealing with harassment in your workplace? Whether you’re experiencing bullying or sexual harassment, it’s important for you to be aware of these mistakes that employees commonly make. A single mistake when dealing with harassment could complicate your situation significantly and make it more difficult for you to raise any legal claims.
1. Not Reporting It in Writing to HR
Employees often assume that it is their company’s responsibility to prevent sexual harassment from ever happening. But that’s not true. Realistically, sexual harassment can happen anywhere; it isn’t the employer’s fault unless the employer hasn’t fixed a problem that has already been brought to their attention or the employer has fostered an environment in which sexual harassment is tolerated. In other words, if the incident is not reported, the company usually can’t be considered liable.
2. Not Documenting the Harassment Properly
Proper documentation must be specific. It should include the incident, the time and day, the relevant witnesses and how it was reported to the company. A person’s memories are extremely fragile, and it can be easy to forget important details if they are not written down properly. Inconsistencies in a story later on could lead to confusion during court proceedings. If you believe you’re being harassed, it’s best to keep a log and to write things down immediately as they occur.
3. Not Filing a Police Report
Some things are issues for a company, but others are issues for the police. When a law has been broken, it is best for an employee to report it to the police as well as their employer. If physical assault has occurred — or verbal harassment outside of the office — a police report should be made. Not only will this ensure that the company needs to take action but it will provide further information should there eventually be a court case.
4. Not Contacting a Lawyer Fast Enough
A lawyer should be involved as soon as possible in a harassment situation. Lawyers can help a great deal with the filing of initial complaints and documenting the harassment itself. When a harassment situation comes up, it’s very likely that a company’s lawyer will already be involved. An employee needs a lawyer who will advocate for them throughout the process to remain protected.
The best thing you can do when experiencing harassment is to immediately contact a workplace or sexual harassment lawyer to find out more information. The lawyer will listen to your situation and will tell you realistically what you can expect and what you should do next. Contact a firm like Lisa Kane & Associates for more information.