Colianni Law Offices, LLC

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What Can an Employee Do If Sexually Harassed?

Allegheny County Sexual Harassment Lawyer

Pittsburgh, PA Sex Harassment Attorney

If you have been the victim of workplace sexual harassment, it is not uncommon to feel isolated, angry, and powerless. You may have even been told that there is nothing you can do, making the situation seem hopeless. Fortunately, however, state and federal laws do offer recourse for those who have experienced sexual harassment, and a skilled employment discrimination attorney at Colianni Law Offices, LLC can help you take action.

Say Something

The first thing that you should do if you have experienced workplace sexual harassment is speak up. Some perpetrators of such behavior are unaware that their conduct is offensive. In many cases, letting the perpetrator know that his or her actions, comments, or attitude is inappropriate and unwelcome is enough to stop the behavior from continuing. While speaking up may not resolve the issue, the perpetrator can no longer claim he or she did not know there was a problem.

Follow Company Procedures

Your employer may have established policies and procedures regarding how to address allegations of sexual harassment. If so, you should follow such policies exactly as they are written. This could mean making reports to certain individuals within the company, preparing written statements, and a variety of other requirements.

When there is no specific procedure, you should file your complaint with your immediate supervisor, presuming that he or she is not your harasser. If your immediate supervisor is the source of the problem, take your claim to the next level up. Notifying your employer is an important step, as the company has the power and responsibility to take action on your behalf. If your employer fails to address the problem, your case against the company will be even stronger.

You should also keep records of each report you have made, including the name and position of the person(s) you spoke with, their response, the date and time of the report, and any other details that you find important. Consider following up any in-person conversations with a summary e-mail so that a paper trail can be created. Print out a copy of the email to protect yourself against suspicious technical problems or in the event your access to the company system is terminated.

Filing a Discrimination Claim

If your employer does not properly address your concern, you have the right to file a complaint with federal Equal Employment Opportunity or the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission. The two agencies generally work together in investigating sexual harassment claims and attempting to resolve such issues. An experienced sexual harassment lawyer can provide guidance in preparing and filing your claim.

Should the government agencies decide to not go forward with your complaint, you will receive a notice of your right to sue your employer. This means that you are free to file a lawsuit in court. In some cases, the agencies will find sufficient grounds to initiate their own lawsuits against your employer on your behalf.

Going to Court

Filing a lawsuit against your employer can help you obtain the compensation you deserve. If you win your case, your employer could be ordered to hire you back if you were fired, pay you for lost wages or back pay owed for a denied promotion, pay damages for emotional and psychological distress, and more. The court could also order your employer to develop policies for preventing and addressing workplace sexual harassment in the future.

Contact our office for help with your case. Call 412-943-0007 for a free consultation today. There is no risk because you pay nothing unless you obtain compensation. We serve clients throughout Allegheny County and the greater Pittsburgh area.

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