Unwanted sexual contact is a form of sexual harassment and is prohibited in the workplace. If a co-worker did make unwanted sexual contact with an employee, the employee should discourage the behavior and report it to their employer immediately. When sexual harassment, in any form, is left unaddressed, it may encourage the harasser to continue engaging in the behavior which will only cause the victim more harm.
According to a recent survey, it was discovered that some victims of sexual harassment experienced the following:
- They felt anxious or depressed.
- They had to change their route or regular routine.
- They had to end a relationship, either a friendship or a romantic one.
- They filed an official report (e.g. a police report).
- They quit or sought a new job assignment.
- Stopped a hobby or activity.
Of all the ways victims who participated in the survey could respond to sexual harassment, the least amount of people confronted their harasser.
Ways an Employee Can Address Sexual Harassment When It Involves a Co-Worker
Confronting a co-worker can be stressful and intimidating, and therefore, an employee should be aware of the other ways they can address a sexual harassment issue that is occurring in their place of employment.
- Report the incident to their employer. If an employee feels comfortable with doing so, they can report the harassment to their employer. Employers in Missouri should have a plan in place on how they handle workplace issues such as sexual harassment.
- Report the incident to the human resources (HR) department. If an employee doesn’t feel comfortable with discussing their issue with their employer, they can take their concerns to their HR department.
- Contact the authorities. If an employee feels threatened or unsafe, maybe because their co-worker seems to show at random places they visit or is constantly sending them inappropriate messages via text or email, they can contact their local police department to report the behavior.
- File a complaint with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). The EEOC accepts certain types of complaints, including those stemming from sexual harassment in the workplace.
- Speak with a Missouri sexual harassment attorney. It is often unclear to an employee what their legal rights are when they are being sexually harassed by a co-worker or even an employer. Although an employee’s HR department and the EEOC can help address sexual harassment issues, a Missouri sexual harassment lawyer can actually assist a victim with obtaining the justice and financial relief they are seeking. Far too often do employees quit their job or accept a lower-paying position just to get away from their harasser. Between the emotional suffering and the financial setback a person might experience, an employee should take the time to gain a better understanding of what their legal rights are and how they can be properly exercised.
Find a Sexual Harassment Attorney in Missouri Now
If an employee is looking to discuss their workplace issue with a qualified lawyer, they can contact USAttorneys.com for help. USAttorneys.com can get an employee connected with a Missouri sexual harassment lawyer, no matter where they work, whether that be Kansas City, St. Louis, or Springfield.