Harassment can occur at any time or any place. It can take many different forms and is always meant to affect a person negatively. A person can be harassed by another person or group. Harassment can also be an organized effort or spontaneous. The point is that harassment is a serious behavior and no one should deal with it silently. Our South Jersey sexual harassment law firm can help you understand the signs of harassment and the steps you can take to fight it.
What Constitutes Harassment?
Harassment is an intimidation technique. It is meant to make the subject uncomfortable and scared. It can take the form of a joke, object, behavior, language, or action. A person may become the object of harassment due to their age, race, religion, country of origin, gender, or sexual orientation. In the workplace, harassment of any kind is strictly prohibited. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 declared harassment to be a form of discrimination. Workplace harassment and discrimination is illegal and punishable by law.
Can Harassment Escalate?
Usually, harassment starts verbally. It begins when a perpetrator tells the victim an offensive joke or uses offensive language. They may send the subject an inappropriate video or message or leave offensive objects on the desk. The harasser gauges the subject’s reaction and starts to exhibit the behavior in different forms. This does not mean the behavior is the subject’s fault; it means that the harasser is thinking of ways to continue the behavior.
Sexual harassment is a form of intimidation that can escalate into physical assault. The nature of this behavior is sex-based. A harasser will often start by telling the subject sexual jokes or making off-handed remarks. Oftentimes, the harasser comments on the subject’s body or asks for sexual favors. This can be followed by physically touching the subject. The goal is often to illicit a reaction and violate the victim’s personal space.
Who Can Be A Predator?
A predator or harasser can be anyone at the workplace. A co-worker, supervisor, customer, or vendor can all be guilty of harassment. They can also try to use their position to intimidate the victim into silence. They may tell the victim that they will lose their job if they speak up, ruin their career, or put their family’s lives in danger. These threats of retaliation are used to further intimidate a victim into silence.
Ways To Speak Up
The best way to determine if you are being harassed is by examining the way the harasser’s behavior makes you feel. If you feel scared, threatened, or uncomfortable by their behavior then you are being harassed. It is important to remember that the perpetrator’s behavior is not your fault and you are not to blame. The harasser is wrong and should not be violating your personal space.
File a complaint with the human resources department and document every instance of this behavior. Save any notes, videos, etc. and make copies for your own personal file.
The human resources department may not be very helpful but it is important that you file a formal complaint to notify the company of his behavior. This record will help you during litigation.
South Jersey Sexual Harassment Lawyers at Sidney L. Gold & Associates P.C. Help Victims of Workplace Harassment
It is important to speak up if you are being harassed at work. Contact a South Jersey sexual harassment lawyer at Sidney L. Gold & Associates P.C. Our employment lawyers that have been working for decades to help victims of sexual harassment. If you are a victim of workplace harassment, call us for a free consultation at 215-569-1999 or contact us online.