Millions of us are still working remotely after more than two years of distancing. In this type of work environment, you would think that sexual harassment would become less frequent because of the lack of face-to-face physical interaction. Unfortunately, we have learned that sexual harassment can be just as prevalent remotely. It is not only a physical phenomenon; it may also occur digitally and over the phone. If you have been subjected to sexual harassment or discrimination while working from home, contact a lawyer to discuss your rights under state and federal law.
What Does This Look Like?
Sexual harassment can cause mental distress, reputational harm, lost opportunities and lost earnings. In the digital age, a perpetrator can harass, stalk, cyberbully, and threaten victims in a variety of ways. Typical instances include:
- Requests for sexual favors
- Inappropriate messages/Sexual advances
- Sending obscene information or links to websites
- Sexual statements or jokes that are crude or improper
- Sharing your personal information without your permission
- Discriminating against a worker on the basis of gender
- Threats, coercion, or exploitation
You may also face sexual harassment as a remote worker over the phone during work-related calls or through sexually inappropriate text messages.
What Should You Do If You Are Sexually Harassed While Working Remotely?
Sexual harassment in any form may be devastating to a survivor, both personally and professionally. Knowing how to respond to sexual harassment at work, whether online or over the phone, can help you recover, shed light on this issue, take a stand for yourself and others who may be experiencing the same, and potentially recover damages for the harm the sexual harassment caused.
If you have been sexually harassed while working remotely, consider taking the following steps:
- Document evidence: Save any proof of sexual harassment before taking any action. If you were harassed online, you should be able to preserve emails or screenshots to document the occurrence. Each sexual harassment occurrence should be documented as thoroughly as possible.
- Speak with the individual: Sometimes, all that is required to resolve a sexual harassment incident is communication. The offender may not have recognized how offended you were by his or her statements and may take corrective action without more encouragement.
- Report to HR: If communication fails or you are concerned about your safety while speaking with the perpetrator, go to HR to report the problem. Make a note of who you interacted with at HR and how they handled your complaint.
- Make a formal complaint: If your employer fails to address the matter correctly, submit a formal complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). The EEOC will assess your claim and may investigate your workplace and take corrective action against your employer.
Please note: You have the right to speak with an attorney at any time during the course of a remote work sexual harassment investigation. You can consult an attorney from the start of your legal matter for recommendations and assistance on how to approach the problem. If you’ve been fired, demoted, or suffered other damages as a result of virtual sexual harassment in the remote workplace, an experienced employment law attorney can help you seek the justice you deserve. Providing documentation and taking the appropriate steps when faced with harassing behavior can make a world of difference when filing a claim.
Contact Experienced Employment Law Attorneys for Help
If you are reading this, you are probably considering talking to an attorney, which is a significant step to rectifying unlawful employer retaliation. As soon as you experience adverse behavior from your employer, an experienced employment law attorney at The Crone Law Firm can walk you through your options and help you strategize to maximize your chance of getting the justice you deserve. Contact us today by calling us at (901) 737-7740 or using our convenient online form.