Sexual harassment is a prevalent issue in many industries. It can affect a person’s ability to perform work-related duties, and it can also cause a great deal of emotional and psychological distress. Sexual harassment by a supervisor or a person in a position of authority can also affect a person’s career, especially if they experience retaliation for reporting inappropriate behavior. If you have experienced sexual harassment, it is important to know your rights and take appropriate action. However, there are certain things that you should avoid doing in order to protect yourself and ensure the best possible outcome for your case. With the help of an attorney, you can determine your best options, and you can take steps to protect your rights and interests.
Some things you should not do if you have been the victim of workplace sexual harassment include:
Delaying Reporting Incidents of Harassment
One of the biggest mistakes people make after experiencing sexual harassment is failing to report incidents in a timely fashion. It is crucial to report any form of harassment as soon as possible so that proper investigations can be conducted, and evidence can be preserved. Reporting sexual harassment via e-mail to your company’s human resources department or a supervisor or manager can ensure that proper steps will be taken to prevent sexual harassment in the future. Waiting too long may weaken your case or even result in a loss of legal options due to statutes of limitations.
Ignoring or Minimizing Sexual Harassment
Another mistake victims often make is to minimize the severity of the sexual harassment they have experienced. It can be tempting to try to hide behavior that could be embarrassing for everyone involved, especially if a sexual harasser is in a position of authority. However, it is essential to recognize that any form of unwanted sexual advances, comments, or behavior constitutes sexual harassment and should not be tolerated in the workplace. By acknowledging the seriousness of this behavior, you empower yourself to take appropriate action and protect yourself from sexual harassment in the future.
Retaliating Against Your Harasser
While it may be tempting to retaliate physically or verbally against the sexual harasser out of anger or frustration, it is important not to engage in any actions that would violate company policies or be seen as inappropriate. Responding with aggression could potentially harm your credibility and complicate legal proceedings. Instead, focus on documenting incidents and gathering evidence while maintaining professionalism.
Discussing Your Case Publicly
In today's digital age, where information spreads quickly through social media platforms, it is crucial not to discuss details about your case publicly. Sharing sensitive information online may harm your case, and it could potentially violate confidentiality agreements or other company policies. It is best to consult with an attorney before discussing your situation publicly.
Failing to Document Incidents
Proper documentation of sexual harassment is crucial when reporting these issues to your employer and addressing the ways you have been affected. Make sure to keep a detailed record of each incident, including dates, times, locations, descriptions of what happened, and any witnesses who were present. This documentation will serve as valuable evidence if there are any disputes about what happened, and it may play a crucial role in your case if you decide to pursue legal action.
Signing Any Documents Without Legal Advice
After reporting sexual harassment, your employer may ask you to sign a statement or a waiver stating that they are not responsible for actions committed by another employee. If you are presented with any documents related to your sexual harassment case, it is important not to sign them without seeking legal advice first. These documents may include settlement offers or agreements that could have long-term consequences for your case. Without fully understanding what you are signing, you may inadvertently give up your right to take legal action to address the ways you have been affected by sexual harassment. An experienced attorney can review the documents and provide guidance on how to protect your rights.
Contact Our Wheaton Workplace Sexual Harassment Attorneys
If you have been a victim of sexual harassment in Illinois, the team at Mirabella, Kincaid, Frederick & Mirabella, LLC., is here to help. We understand the sensitive nature of these cases, and we are committed to providing compassionate legal representation. We will help you understand your options, and we will advocate for solutions that will allow you to address what has happened to you and ensure that you will be able to move forward following this difficult experience. Contact our DuPage County sexual harassment lawyers today at 630-665-7300 to set up a consultation and discuss your case.