From a young age, people often learn ways to protect themselves. Commonly, these lessons come from parents who want to ensure that their children understand the dangers of talking to or going with strangers, or who want their children to stand up to bullies or others who may try to hurt them. Of course, as people get older, they still face threats to their well-being, and in some cases, they may not know how to protect themselves as best as possible.
You may not have felt entirely confident in your ability to protect yourself from sexual harassment or the repercussions of filing a complaint at work. After all, the threats people learn to watch out for as children are often depicted as scary people in the dark and not bosses or co-workers in well-lit workspaces.
How can having knowledge protect you?
Unfortunately, try as you might to protect yourself from harassment altogether, it is not easy. You may try to set boundaries with people in the workplace, make it known when someone makes you uncomfortable or take other measures, but still, sexual harassment could continue. In efforts to protect yourself further, you may want to ensure that you understand your legal rights.
Sexual harassment in the workplace violates federal law, and you have protections under that law if you work for an employer who has 15 or more employees. It is also important to remember that this type of harassment does not have to be explicitly sexual in nature, as it can apply to offensive statements or actions regarding your gender.
How can actions protect you?
If you have experienced sexual harassment in the workplace, your documentation of those incidents can help protect you in the future. Recording the experiences with the harasser, including the details, when and where it happened, and any witnesses could be vital. You can also file a complaint or report with the applicable parties at your place of employment (such as a supervisor/manager or human resources) and record when you filed the complaint, who you spoke with and how it went.
In the event that sexual harassment continues or you face retaliation for filing a complaint, you may also want to remember that you could take legal action. Discussing your exact ordeal with a knowledgeable Florida attorney could help you determine what steps could allow you to best address the predicament that you face and the wrongdoing you have endured.