New York, NY- Federal and state laws forbid sexual harassment, but that doesn’t keep it from happening.  Each year, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission receives an average of 30,000 sexual harassment and discrimination complaints. Sadly, those are only a fraction of incidents are actually reported to the appropriate state and federal agencies. Many incidents go unreported because victims may not realize how to deal the harassment and what steps they need to stop it.

Don’t ignore sexual harassment

It’s tempting for to just ignore sexual harassment when they are the targets or when they witness it happening. A one-time incident can be shrugged off, but a repeated pattern needs to be addressed and addressed quickly, otherwise the harassment could escalate and leave the victim suffering long-term consequences to their mental and physical health. Not taking action could send the message that sexual harassment in the workplace is accepted.

Speak with the harasser directly

The next step a person should take is to confront the harasser directly. A person may feel uncomfortable talking about sexual harassment, but the fact is some people don’t realize what they have said or done is objectionable. They may not be aware that their behavior makes a coworker feel uncomfortable and is unwelcome. In some cases, speaking directly with the harasser will stop the behavior and keep other coworkers from facing the same behavior.

If you confront the harassment and nothing changes, then the next step is to file a formal complaint with a supervisor and human resources. This will initiate an investigation and can result in the harasser being appropriately disciplined for creating a hostile work environment. If that doesn’t end the harassment, the victim should contact a sexual harassment attorney in New York immediately.

Don’t be afraid of retaliation

One of the main reasons workers are reluctant to report sexual harassment is retaliation. They have the legitimate fear of having their hours cut, be denied raises or promotions and even worse they are afraid they will be fired. This happens often and is far easier to prove in court than the actual sexual harassment. It’s understandable that a person would be reluctant to put their job on the line to report sexual harassment, but not taking action hurts the victim more than they realize and gives the harasser a pass to continue the abuse.

Victims of sexual harassment shouldn’t have to face this abusive behavior day in and day out. If they are they should follow the above steps and speak with a sexual harassment attorney to see what they should do next. You may be eligible to receive compensation for your loss of wages and emotional distress.

At USAttorneys, we have a team of lawyers who have a comprehensive understanding of workplace abuse laws in New York and can help you secure a generous settlement. Our team of sexual harassment attorneys will devote their time and expertise to your case so that there is a successful outcome.