Who should an employee report a sexual harassment incident to when working in Massachusetts?
Many cases of sexual harassment in the workplace go unaddressed simply because employees don’t know who to report their complaints to. If a manager or supervisor is the one who is making unwanted physical contact or saying things in a sexual context, then who does the employee complain to? If someone in a higher up position with power is the perpetrator who is making a work environment hostile and unbearable to work in, can a complaint be filed to someone who is higher up than them?
Although an individual may feel as though they have no one to report their complaints to, there are people and agencies they can contact to report one or more incidents of sexual harassment to. Below are a few suggestions:
- Human Resources (HR)
In most cases, those who work in HR are responsible for handling staffing issues and often serve as consultants on human resources issues such as sexual harassment, according to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics. Although an individual’s HR department should be able to help them address the issue, there are times when even this department is corrupt and will brush certain incidents under the rug. If an individual isn’t getting any help from their HR department or works for an employer that doesn’t have one, they may need to contact a legal expert instead.
- Their Local Police Department
If an employer or co-worker engages in activity that makes an individual feel unsafe or uncomfortable, they may be able to report it to their local police department. For example, if an employer always follows an employee out to their vehicle at the end of their shift and sometimes follows behind them on their way home, this could constitute as stalking which is a criminal offense. If an employer’s behavior is classified as a criminal offense, the police will be able to help address the issue.
- The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)
The EEOC has many responsibilities, including enforcing certain federal laws that protect employees, no matter if they work in Boston, Worcester, or Providence. Because the EEOC does recognize certain forms of harassment as being illegal, the agency may be able to help an individual who is being sexually harassed in the workplace.
- A Massachusetts Sexual Harassment Lawyer
Although listed last, a MA sexual harassment attorney is someone who should be contacted immediately after a sexual harassment incident occurs at work. Although their legal representation may not be needed right away, they can definitely help an employee understand their legal rights and determine if the behavior they are being subjected to is considered illegal. If a lawyer feels they have a case, they can then provide them with the legal representation they will need to recognize their harasser for their inappropriate gestures/behavior.
Connect with a Massachusetts Sexual Harassment Attorney
Building up the courage to report an employer or co-worker for sexual harassment can be a tough thing to do, especially when the individual engaging in the inappropriate behavior is a manager or supervisor. But the incident shouldn’t be ignored or left unaddressed. If an individual in MA needs help reporting their employer for sexual harassment or is looking to hold them accountable for the mistreatment they have subjected them to, they can contact USAttorneys.com to get connected with a lawyer who can help.
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