Most companies have sexual harassment policies. This policy should contain the procedures for reporting sexual harassment, including the person to whom the harassment should be reported. This is usually the human resources manager. In the event of sexual harassment, record the date and time the incident occurred and write a detailed description of what happened. If there is any evidence of the harassment such as witnesses, photos, emails, or text messages, be sure to keep this information as well. It is wise to keep a copy of your statement or complaint and other materials submitted to your employer for your own records.
We have had many clients who were concerned about the ramifications of reporting sexual harassment in the workplace. As employees, they were concerned about retaliation from their supervisors and co-employees, about losing their job, and whether they would be believed by their employers. We are experienced in this area and know how to deal with these concerns. The most important first step in this process is reporting the sexual harassment to your employer in writing and we can help you through this process. An employer is responsible for taking reasonable steps to prevent harassment in the workplace, and to take effective steps to remedy harassment if it occurs.
When a complaint is made, an employer is required to take prompt and appropriate remedial action to stop the harassment. Once you have reported the harassment, an employer is prohibited from retaliating against you because of your complaint. If this occurs, you may have an additional claim against your employer for retaliation under the Tennessee Human Rights Act or Title VII. Please check to see if your employer has a sexual harassment policy and then call us to discuss your rights.
Filing a sexual harassment complaint can be an emotional and daunting experience, but we will help guide you through every step of the process with compassion and sound legal advice. Remember that legally, your employer cannot retaliate against you for filing a report. Be sure to contact us immediately for advice concerning the time limitation for filing your claim which is usually one year from the date of any discrimination or harassment.