For far too long, employees suffered from sexual harassment in silence, afraid to come forward due to fears of increased harassment or retaliation. The events of the last year, spurred on by the #MeToo hashtag on social media, have taken the lid off of the sordid happenings at companies and institutions across the nation.
From Hollywood studios and casinos to Fortune 500 corporations, women are stepping out of the shadows to share their own experiences of sexual harassment and workplace discrimination.
Despite the outpouring of support for those who have stepped forward, there is still an undercurrent of shame and fear associated with being harassed. We have made progress as a society, but it is still difficult to come forward. If you are considering taking action, the first step is to make sure you know your rights.
Your Rights as an Employee in Michigan
First of all, you have the right to feel safe at your workplaces – you should never have to endure sexual harassment on the job. This includes examples such as:
- A supervisor, coworker, or a client sexually assaulting you
- More subtle harassment such as asking for sexual favors in exchange for a promotion or other benefit (quid pro quo)
- The creation of a hostile work environment via sexual jokes or suggestive remarks
- Being fired or otherwise retaliated against for rebuffing a supervisor’s sexual advances
If this sounds familiar to you, there are steps you can take to make sure the sexual harassment ends. First, speak to your supervisor about the sexual harassment – unless your supervisor is the perpetrator of the sexual harassment. In that case, your first move is contacting human resources. HR may launch an investigation of your supervisor’s conduct.
Have you already taken these initial steps only to feel like the investigation is going nowhere or that they’re simply sweeping the sexual harassment under the rug? Then it’s time to consider seeking the help of a lawyer with experience representing the victims of sexual harassment in the workplace.