We have spoken with many victims of sexual harassment and studied why some people never report their stories while others do but fail in getting justice. To help victims make more informed decisions about whether they should report and what to expect, we are sharing our experience with readers.
Here are the six most common mistakes made by sexual harassment victims.
Mistake #1: Failing to take workplace sexual harassment seriously
Many victims of sexual harassment often choose not to contact a sexual harassment lawyer, either due to embarrassment, fear of retaliation, or lack of certainty as to whether misconduct is occurring. This unfortunate mistake not only further endangers the victim, but potentially other employees of the company.
Sexual harassment can disrupt careers, complicate family life, lead to retaliation for refusing sexual advances or even escalate to sexual assault. Use the Types of Workplace Sexual Harassment section in this guide to help determine whether you are experiencing sexual harassment. If you have any doubt as to whether the conduct of a coworker may be considered sexual harassment, consult your sexual harassment lawyer.
Mistake #2: Failing to contact an experienced sexual harassment lawyer
The advice and guidance of a sexual harassment lawyer are critical from the moment you suspect sexual harassment in the workplace. Victims who report their concerns to some source other than a lawyer can quickly lose valuable legal protections. Your lawyer is there to protect your rights as an employee and the success of your claim for financial compensation. Best case scenario, this protection begins immediately upon the suspicion of sexual harassment.
Mistake #3: Reporting concerns internally before speaking with your lawyer
Reporting your concerns about sexual harassment to a supervisor, co-worker, or another individual before speaking with your lawyer can result in any number of problems. Employer retaliation is common. Even when an employee raises a simple concern about a potential case of sexual harassment, it can set off a cascade of events that may damage your career. Your lawyer can help you navigate this situation in a way that protects your rights and safeguards your reputation and career.
Mistake #4: Failing to keep a detailed written diary of information
From the moment you experience sexual harassment, create a safe place to log information, including specific dates, times, incidents, places, phone numbers, and names of relevant individuals or potential eye witnesses. These details can be critical to proving your case and collecting financial compensation. Do not use your work computer to keep these notes.
Mistake #5: Taking documents, copies or scans from work before consulting with your lawyer
Be careful when gathering evidence to support your claim of sexual harassment. You must follow proper procedures when collecting documents, data, media, or other evidence to support your case. We can help you determine what documents or evidence are helpful for your case and whether you can legally take these documents from the workplace. Any evidence taken in violation of the law may not be admissible and may get you into trouble
Mistake #6: Waiting too long to contact a sexual harassment lawyer
Another common mistake made by victims of sexual harassment is putting off the call to a lawyer, even for a few days. Sexual harassment claims are subject to strict time limits, sometimes as little as 180 days. Many events can happen quickly that could change your financial compensation amount.
To learn more, simply email us or pick up the phone. All new client inquiries are screened by an experienced sexual harassment lawyer. Case evaluations are free and confidential. We can be reached online, by email [hidden email] or by phone at 888.249.6944. All email inquiries are reviewed by an attorney, not a paralegal or nonlawyer.