Q. What do I do if someone starts sexually harassing me at my job?
1. Memorialize all of the event(s) down in writing. Imagine yourself as a police detective writing an incident report. Describe in full detail what happened. Who was involved and who witnessed it? When did the incident(s) take place? Where did it/they take place? Write down, to the best of you ability, all of the specific conversations that took place. If you can recall exact dialogue, then place those sentences down in quotations.
2. Place this writing in a personal journal that is kept at home, not at work. Sometimes if a person is wrongfully fired, they are immediately escorted out of the premises and are not allowed to return to their work station/office to retrieve their personal property.
3. If you want to send information concerning the sexual harassment situation to your home computer or to your own attorney, then it might be wiser for you to use your personal email account and not your work email. Your employer may legally be able to read all of your work emails.
4. Get out your company's employee handbook and carefully read the sections on sexually harassment and the harassment/discrimination complaint procedures. Typically your handbook will define sexual harassment and give you a few examples, which can help you verify that the conduct that you have been experiencing was sexual harassment. The handbook will also identify the person and/or title of the person to whom you are to present your complaint.
5. Meet with an experienced employment law attorney to listen to your facts, provide you with advice as to whether you have a legitimate claim of sexual harassment, explain the law to you in simple and understandable terms and competently and carefully guide you through the steps of the company's complaint procedures. If you find that your employer is trying to discourage you or retaliate against you for raising your sexual harassment complaint, then your attorney can step forward and handle the situation directly through litigation or through alternative dispute resolution means.
The Law Office of Fred Shahrooz-Scampato will provide you with a free 15 minute telephone consultation where you can share the facts of your situation, obtain information about the law that is involved and provide you with options for moving forward. If at the conclusion of the telephone call we determine that you may have a viable claim of sexual harassment, we will then invite you in for a longer face to face meeting where we can discuss your situation in greater detail. Please feel free to call us at 908-301-9095