Most working-aged people know that sexual harassment is illegal. However, many do not have a clear understanding of which behaviors are against the law or when it is appropriate to talk to sexual harassment lawyers in Springfield, MA about the problem and when they should just ignore the conduct to avoid trouble at work.
For inappropriate conduct to be defined as harassment, it must be unwelcome. If your boss asks you out on a date, it may be against your company’s policy but not necessarily illegal if the invitation is not unwelcome. However, if your supervisor asks you out and implies that your continued employment with the company may be affected if you don’t go, your boss may be guilty of sexual harassment. Be sure to follow your employer’s policy on reporting unwelcome advances and save copies of printed or electronic communication regarding the matter.
Another element of sexual harassment is that it must affect your working conditions. Whether the perpetrator is your coworker, supervisor or another employee of the company, their advances, actions or statements can affect your comfort at work. For example, if a coworker uses explicit screen savers on their work computer and refuses to remove them despite your objections, they may be guilty of sexual harassment. It is important to note that the behavior has to so severe or pervasive that it would make any reasonable person uncomfortable.
It is also against the law for your employer to discipline, reassign or fire you for complaining about the harassment. Many people contact Sexual Harassment Lawyers in Springfield MA after they have reported inappropriate behavior and found themselves without a job because of their complaint. If you were fired and the harasser is still employed, your employer may be guilty of retaliation.
Many instances of inappropriate conduct can be resolved by having a conversation with the person who is making you uncomfortable. When this doesn’t work, make a formal complaint to your employer. If you are unable to get a resolution or you face retaliation, consult an attorney who focuses on employment law.