No one likes a tattle tale, but it is not advisable to use your fists to stand up to bullies at work. Unfortunately, harassment and bullying take place in the workplace at least as much as they do on the schoolyard. Harassment of employees and coworkers is a form of employment discrimination, which means that it is against the law. The best way to stop harassment at work is to report it to the relevant parties in as much detail as possible. If people at your workplace have been harassing and mistreating you, whether through derogatory remarks, practical jokes, or even unwanted touching or physical assault, you should document everything and then contact a hostile work environment harassment lawyer.
Will Things Get Better or Worse When You Talk to the Human Resources Department?
In most cases, the first person to contact should be the human resources department at your company or organization. You should cite specific instances of harassment and the dates when they took place. Ideally, the human resources department will respond with a solution that makes the harassment stop, but that is not always what happens. Sometimes, the harassment gets worse after you report it to human resources. Your employer might even take an adverse action against you, such as denying you a pay raise the next time you become eligible for one. When your employer punishes you for a legally protected action, such as complaining about mistreatment you are experiencing at work, this is retaliation, and it is illegal.
Filing a Complaint With the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
If things get worse after you report the harassment to human resources, the next place to contact is the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). Your EEOC counselor will advise you about filing a formal complaint to the EEOC, which will begin an investigation, at the end of which the EEOC will decide whether to file an employment discrimination lawsuit on your behalf. Hiring an employment lawyer is not a prerequisite for dealing with the EEOC, but it can make your interactions with them more fruitful.
It Is Not Too Soon to Contact an Employment Lawyer
Before the court will consider an employment discrimination lawsuit about workplace harassment or any other form of discrimination, you must go through the preliminary steps of filing an internal complaint with your company’s human resources office, if your company is big enough to have one, and then an external complaint with the EEOC. For best results, you should start working with a lawyer long before your case gets to the lawsuit stage. Employment lawyers can help you identify workplace harassment and effectively take action to stop it.
Contact an Employment Lawyer About Taking Action Against Workplace Harassment
The time to contact a lawyer about workplace harassment is now. A hostile work environment harassment lawyer can help you speak out effectively against bullying in your workplace. McOmber McOmber & Luber, P.C.’s employment lawyers are available for consultation. Please call our offices or reach out to us online.