With all the stories of sexual harassment floating around on the Internet, it may seem frightening to report sexual harassment or find enough strength to confront the harasser in the workplace, especially when the harasser is your boss.
With more than 81 percent of American women having been sexually harassed at work at least once in their lifetime, the problem of being harassed on the basis of sex is so common it had been normalized for decades. But then a group of brave women went forward with their stories against Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein in October 2017, and it changed everything.
Our sexual harassment attorney Los Angeles at The Kaufman Law Firm has recently received the following question from one of our readers named Jessica. “I was recently sexually harassed by my boss in Los Angeles, what do I do? I do not want to get fired if I complain about this. Please help me! Kind Regards, Jessica.”
Thank you for your question, Jessica. First and foremost, what many victims of sexual harassment do not realize is that confronting the harasser, even if he or she is your employer, is often the best option to put an end to the sexual misconduct once and for all.
While it may seem counterproductive, super uncomfortable, and awkward, addressing the problem with the harasser directly often helps. However, this only works if you have never confronted the harasser before. If you have already told your employer that what he/she said or did to you made you feel uncomfortable, and your employer has not stopped sexually harassing you, proceed to the next stage, which is reporting sexual misconduct to a supervisor and/or the human resources (HR) department.
Going straight to your supervisor or the HR department is not recommended because in many cases, a face-to-face conversation with your boss can solve the problem once and for all. If your employer sincerely apologized and understood that his or her actions or words made you feel uncomfortable, there is a high chance that he/she will never bother you again.
“If your boss refuses to listen to you and/or your conversation with him/her was of no use, at least you have proof that you tried to address the problem to get it resolved without getting anyone else involved,” explains our Los Angeles sexual harassment attorney.
If your conversation with your boss was unsuccessful or you feel unsafe to have this conversation because your employer is violent or retaliatory, consider reporting sexual harassment to your supervisor or the HR department. When no other option works, filing an official complaint and documenting sexual misconduct on the part of your employer may the best way to stop the harassment at work.
If your company does not have an HR department and/or you fear that your boss’s influence over the HR department might result in dismissal or unfair investigation of your complaint, go straight to a sexual harassment attorney in Los Angeles or elsewhere in California.
With a skilled lawyer by your side, you will be able to start legal action against the harasser without having to fear retaliation, firing, reduction of pay, or demotion. Let our lawyers at The Kaufman Law Firm help you. Call our offices at (818) 990-1999 to get a free consultation.