Philadelphia, PA- Federal and state laws protect all Pennsylvania employees from workplace discrimination and harassment and still each year the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission receives thousands of complaints. Many of the victims of these abusive behaviors have no idea what they should do or how to stop the abuse. Here our team of sexual harassment attorneys in Pennsylvania will discuss four things an employee needs to know if they are being harassed or discriminated against.

Take the harassment seriously

Unfortunately, many people who are suspected to workplace harassment and discrimination just let it go. In some cases that might be the right thing to do if it was just a one-time occurrence, but if it’s a repeated event that occurs over and over, ignoring it is not the way to handle the situation. Ignoring it won’t make the harassment stop and in could actually make it worse. It is in the victim’s best interest and in the best interest of the workplace as a whole to notify their employer.

Speak with the harasser

One of the key elements to proving a sexual harassment complaint is showing that the harassment was unwanted. It seems strange but some people don’t know when their inappropriate comments or actions are offensive. The victim of the harassment must make it clear to the harasser that their comments or jokes are unwanted and to stop the harassment.

Keep records of the harassment

An employee who is being harassed should take notes about the behaviors the encounter and make notes of dates and times. These cases are generally one employee’s word against another’s so a clear record of what was said can be convincing proof. Take notes but don’t leave them on any work computers. Having notes will give an employee the confidence they need to follow through with their complaint and can give you a record of the events. Those notes won’t be valid in court but they will keep an employee from second guessing themselves.

Inform the Employer

Once the victim has confronted the harasser and the behavior continues, the employer needs to be notified and given the opportunity address the harassment and discrimination. A formal complaint is the victim’s proof that they reported the abusive behavior. If the harassment persists after an employer is notified, then the victim may have grounds to file a civil lawsuit. Not reporting the behavior will give an employer the right to deny a claim because they weren’t given the opportunity to the remedy the harassment.

Get legal counsel

If an employee has done everything they could to stop their harassment and filed a formal complaint and it continues, the victim needs to speak with a sexual harassment lawyer in Pennsylvania. An attorney can advise on the steps you need to take to hold your employer and the harasser accountable for you mental anguish and lost wages. If you need help ending your workplace abuse, let USAttorneys connect you with an employment law attorney today.