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Have a Legal Question?
Harassment in the workplace is illegal. Whether you’re being sexually harassed or harassed due to race, religion, sex, age, or national origin, you have the right to take legal action. If you report the situation to your employer and they do nothing, there are some steps you can take to receive justice. Here’s some advice:
1. Know the Different Types of Harassment
There are several types of harassment. The different types of harassment include race, sex, religion, age, national origin, color, marital status, or pregnancy. If you’re being singled out for any reason, it’s considered harassment.
It is also considered harassment if your employer denies you domestic violence leave or they if they will not allow you to object to illegal activity. If you’re denied wages or a promotion because you refuse to participate in illegal activity, you may have a case.
You cannot be harassed for taking family or medical leave or for filing a worker’s compensation claim if the employer has 50 or more employees. Employers also cannot harass people for having firearms locked in their non-company vehicles or harass you for missing work to testify under subpoena.
If your boss is just exhibiting abusive behavior, it’s not necessarily considered illegal behavior. Some small employers may not be protected at all. It’s important to know what justifies legal harassment in order to start legal action.
2. Speak With Your Human Resources Department
File a formal complaint with your human resources department. If they do not take any action, your next step is to obtain legal help. Be sure to make documentation of all correspondence. Comply with all meetings. Do not refuse to go to work or quit and do not record any of the conversations without permission.
Always give the employer an opportunity to fix the situation before suing the company. The victim may be moved to another location or the harasser may be terminated. If you don’t give the employer a right to rectify the situation, you may be giving up your right to sue.
3. Obtain an Attorney
Speak with an attorney to determine if you have a case. If you have a case, they can guide you on the proper steps to take to sue your harasser. They will probably advise you to bring it to the attention employer first. If you’ve done this, they’ll review your case and determine if you have the legal right to sue.
Have your attorney review your formal complaint. In general, bullying, hostile environment, or general harassment is not necessarily illegal. Be specific about your complaint. Entitle it “Formal Complaint of Sexual Harassment” or “Formal Complaint of Racial Harassment.”
Always Know Your Rights and Responsibilities
You cannot pursue legal action until you know what’s considered illegal. Always file a formal complaint and give your employer an opportunity to rectify the situation. If your employer retaliates or refuses to rectify the situation, you need to take legal action. Tell your attorney, and they will tell you the steps to take. It’s possible to get justice if you follow all the possible steps. Call 312.332.6733 or contact us online today to speak to an attorney.