Do you know what to do if you've been sexually harassed in the workplace?

It seems like every week, another person in a high-powered position is accused of sexual harassment. What do you do if there's sexual harassment in your work place?

Posted: Nov 29, 2017 10:57 PM
Updated: Nov 30, 2017 11:24 AM

Do you know what to do if you believe you've been sexually harassed in the workplace? Fort Wayne Attorney Matt Elliott says it's as simple as speaking up.

"Ideally the business has an HR department or has a designated person who handles complaints of sexual harassment and conducts an investigation," said Elliott.

Sexual harassment is unwanted verbal or physical contact toward a coworker.

"Or it can be discrimination where you treat someone differently because of their sex," said Elliott.

Elliott says it's always best to try to solve the problem internally.

"If that doesn't work, the employee has the option of going to a government agency called the EEOC and file a charge."

Fort Wayne Resident Rochelle Alberding says she wonders why it takes victims so long to speak up.

"Why don't they go and get it done right then? Why wait? If it happened, it happened and you should report it. If you don't, just keep your mouth shut."

Alberding said she once reported harassment to an HR department and swift action was taken.

"What's worth more? You gotta take a survey of what you think. Is my life, my person worth more than me putting up with some guy touching me or whatever he's doing. You got to make that decision, and that's the way I would do it," said Aberding.

Elliott recommends people wait no longer than 300 days to report harassment or discrimination, otherwise your rights will be lost.

"Look for support in the workplace. A trusted coworker. It's possible those folks may have experienced the same thing or shed some light on how to approach the company to help them out," said Elliott.

After filing a sexual harassment complaint, it can take weeks or months to get justice, but Elliott says a lot of the time, it can take years.

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