While it can be especially uncomfortable for an employee to have to work in an environment where their boss has made one or more unwanted sexual advances toward them, there are steps they can take to address the problem. While most assume they should quit or request to be reassigned to another department within their company, there may be other ways to handle the matter so that it doesn’t have an impact on their ability to earn an income. Some of the options an employee has when it comes to addressing a sexual harassment issue involving their boss are shared down below.
- Report the behavior to their human resources (HR) department.
Because most HR departments are equipped to handle complaints of sexual harassment, an employee should consider contacting their HR department to report the incident or string of incidents that are making them uncomfortable. In the event an individual works for an employer that doesn’t have an HR department or the individuals working in it don’t appear to be taking a sexual harassment issue seriously, they can either contact someone higher up in the company or even file a charge of discrimination with the Ohio Civil Rights Commission (OCRC).
- File a charge of discrimination with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).
If the issue is not properly addressed by an employer, an employee also has the option of filing a charge of discrimination with the EEOC. The EEOC will typically investigate the complaint to determine if there is enough evidence to substantiate the claims that are being made against their boss.
- Contact an Ohio sexual harassment lawyer.
Filing a complaint with HR or even the EEOC can be intimidating and an employee may worry that once they file their complaint, they will be retaliated against. Some might even worry their complaint won’t be taken seriously. This is why it benefits to hire an Ohio sexual harassment lawyer. Not only will an attorney help an employee understand their legal rights, but they will also protect them.
This means if their complaints aren’t taken seriously or their employer retaliates against them, an attorney will be able to intervene and address the problem. In addition, a sexual harassment attorney can also help an employee take civil action against their employer if the harassment has caused them harm or resulted in them losing out on earning wages.
If an employee chooses to take civil action against their employer (i.e. file a civil lawsuit), they may be entitled to recover compensation for the following:
- Back pay
- Mental anguish
- Punitive damages. Punitive damages aim to punish the harasser for their behavior and deter others from engaging in the same or similar conduct.
- Attorney’s fees
If an employee is worried about reporting their boss for sexual harassment or has been mocked for filing a complaint with HR, they should consider contacting an Ohio sexual harassment attorney. USAttorneys.com can help an employee get connected with a lawyer in their area no matter if they work in Columbus, Cleveland, or Cincinnati.