Friday, May 20, 2011

Have You Ever Experienced Sexual Harrassment at Work?

Workers have the right to be free from sexual harassment at work. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission defines sexual harassment as unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature. Sexual harassment is a violation of the 1964 Civil Rights Act. Under the Civil Rights Act of 1991, victims of sexual harassment are entitled to damages for pain and suffering, as well as to lost pay.

If you experience sexual harassment or witness it, you should make a report to the appropriate official. Before you report a problem, you might want to try some self-help techniques, using the DO’s and DON’Ts listed below.

The DO’s and DON’Ts of Sexual Harassment

Do
Admit that a problem exists
Tell the offender specifically what you find offensive
Tell the offender that his or her behavior is bothering you
Say specifically what you want or don’t want to happen, such as “Please call me by my name not Honey,” or “Please don’t tell that kind of joke in front of me.”

Tell your nanny agency immediately

If it doesn't improve, leave the job as soon as possible

Don't
Blame yourself for someone else’s behavior, unless it truly is inoffensive
Choose to ignore the behavior, unless it is truly inoffensive
Try to handle any severe or recurring harassment problem by yourself -- get help.

Tell Your Nanny Agency Immediately
If an employment agency helped you find the job, call them for support immediately. It's important that they know about your problem so they can consider the risk of placing another nanny candidate with the family.

Leave the Job as Soon as Possible
Your placement agency will be happy to help you meet other families if you handle yourself professionally. Post your resume on online nanny web sites and start interviewing immediately. If the harassment is severe stay on a friend's couch if necessary. You should always feel safe at your job.

You have the legal right to work in an environment that is free of sexual harassment.

You also have the right not to receive retaliation for making a charge, testifying, or participating in an investigation into the charge.

Where to file a charge?

Some web sites state that charges must be filed with the U. S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) before a private lawsuit can be made. But, in a domestic worker relationship you may be able to contact an attorney immediately. Charges can be filed at an EEOC office or through the mail. You can find information on your nearest office through their website at eeoc.gov.

Some areas have local agencies called Fair Employment Practices Agencies, which also deal with claims and work in agreement with the EEOC.

Taking a stand against sexual harassment in the workplace is important for everyone. Helping to identify problems and expose violators will increase awareness of the situation and make the work environment safer for us all.

4 comments:

Misty said...

Thank goodness no I've never been harrassed and never been attracted to a boss. Good points made in article.

Anonymous said...

Great points and good advice. Arnold S was not harrassing his housekeeper she admits she pursued him. In some cases the worker complies, yuck!

Anonymous said...

yes I had a friend who was sexually harased but don't want to write details here.

Alana Gorecki said...

Some victims of sexual harassment end up keeping the problem to themselves because they feel powerless, compared to the person responsible. Also, this can save them from future humiliation or defamation. This is a wrong practice, and for me, proper education must be implemented. This is a very helpful guideline that will surely encourage everyone to raise awareness on the issue until the time that no one will ever experience it. I believe we’re all looking forward to that.

Alana Gorecki