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What to Do if You Witness Sexual Harassment at Work

What to Do if You Witness Sexual Harassment at Work

Posted by Kathy Harrington-Sullivan | Jan 15, 2018 | 0 Comments

Sexual harassment in the workplace is very serious and victims can experience significant emotional and physical harm as a result. If you have experienced unwanted sexual advances in your workplace, contact a sexual harassment attorney in Atlanta GA from Barrett & Farahany, LLP. In addition to seeking legal advice, there are steps you can take that may help you stop or lessen the abuse. If someone you know or work with is experiencing sexual harassment, these tips may help them as well.

How to Offer Support

You may be wondering how you can be supportive of someone who is suffering as a result of being the target of sexual harassment. Victims often feel isolated and alone. They may doubt themselves and wonder if they simply are imagining the harassment. This might be in addition to feeling undeserved guilt about being a target. You can gently approach the victim as a coworker or friend, depending on your relationship with this person. By offering support directly to the victim, it can help them make decisions about actions to take. You might even encourage them to contact a harassment lawyer in to learn about their legal rights.

Do keep in mind that the victim may not want help, but they will know that they have a witness and ally if they decide to take action.

Inappropriate Joking or Teasing

If you overhear sexual jokes or behavior of crude nature, especially if you believe it is directed at you, speak up directly to the abuse by stating you are uncomfortable. If witnesses speak up at the moment, it can go a long way towards sexual harassment or teasing becoming stigmatized at work. If the behavior continues, report it to your manager. If that is not effective, or if your manager is one of the persons making jokes, you may need to contact a sexual harassment attorney.

The initial reaction of many harassers is that he or she is joking and should not be taken seriously. Sexual joking is all too common in a workplace environment. Crude language and teasing can lead to high turnover rates, low morale, and even lawsuits. An employer should hold all parties responsible for their words and behavior. If it's the employer or supervisor who is involved in this destructive behavior, you have legal rights.

Symptoms of Sexual Harassment

Those who have experienced sexual harassment may suffer issues of self-esteem, endure emotional challenges, and have a decreased ability to focus at work. Victims may also suffer from losing sleep, a loss of appetite, headaches, and severe weight fluctuations. In turn, these conditions can lead to additional health issues like a weakened immune system, hormone imbalance, and chronic fatigue from stress and high blood pressure.

An employee who is fearful to come into work due to worrying about experiencing more sexual harassment may start calling in sick or even requesting a leave of absence. It is important that you let a harassment lawyer in Atlanta GA from Barrett & Farahany, LLP know if you had to take a period of time away from work because of harassment. If the victim does not report the harassment or seek therapy in order to move on from mistreatment, it can have a significant impact on his or her future career and personal relationships.

Our Goal: Provide Victims with the Best Harassment Lawyer Atlanta GA Respects

We believe sexual harassment should not be taken lightly and as such, we offer victims a free case evaluation. To take advantage of this opportunity, please call a sexual harassment lawyer in Atlanta GA at Barrett & Farahany, LLP to schedule your appointment.

About the Author

Kathy Harrington-Sullivan

Kathy Harrington Sullivan is a Partner at Barrett & Farahany and manages the firm's case evaluation team. Because knowledge truly is power, Kathy and the Atlanta employment attorneys on her team regularly consult with and empower potentia...

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When you reach out to us, you will receive a complimentary consultation with one of our skilled Atlanta employment attorneys. During our initial consultation with you, we can help you to better understand your rights and will work with you to determine what course of action is in your best interest. We take great pride in providing assistance based on years of experience negotiating and litigating employment matters to protect employee interests. If you find yourself in need of dedicated legal representation, we are prepared to advocate on your behalf – our goal is always to protect employee victims of harassment, discrimination, and retaliation.

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