Published on August 15th, 2023
Do you find yourself feeling uncomfortable at work? Have you experienced unwelcome comments or behavior from a coworker or supervisor? It’s unacceptable to feel unsafe or harassed in your workplace, and you don’t need to suffer in silence.
Harassment in the workplace is a pervasive issue, affecting individuals across all industries. According to one study, at least 60% of women have experienced unwanted sexual advances in the workplace.
But it’s not just women who are affected – men, people of color, and members of the LGBTQ+ community are also at risk of harassment.
If you’re experiencing harassment at work, it’s essential to take action. A workplace harassment lawyer can help you navigate the legal system and protect your rights.
If you’re unsure what they do or how they can help you fight your case, follow along as we explore ten reasons why talking to a harassment lawyer is a smart move.
What Is Workplace Harassment?
Before speaking with an employment lawyer (or any other type of lawyer), it’s helpful to understand what harassment is.
It’s also important to note that workplace harassment can happen to anyone anytime. It refers to any unwelcome and intimidating behavior directed towards you in the workplace.
These behaviors can come in various forms, such as:
- Cyber harassment
Examples of verbal harassment may include insulting, demeaning, or belittling comments, jokes, or slurs.
Physical harassment may include unwanted physical contact, physical attacks, or even gestures that create a threatening or offensive environment.
Cyber harassment is a fairly recent occurrence. However, it’s becoming more and more common. It may include receiving offensive text messages, emails, or social media posts directed toward you.
It’s important to note that workplace harassment isn’t just limited to interactions with your colleagues.
Your customers, supervisors, and even vendors can also engage in harassing behavior. It can make you feel stressed and anxious and even lead to depression.
Ultimately, this is important to understand because the effects of workplace harassment can be incredibly damaging and ultimately impact your personal and professional life.
That’s why it’s essential to talk to a workplace harassment lawyer if you ever experience any form of harassment on the job.
Harassment Vs. Bullying: Is There A Difference?
While they might sound similar, they are somewhat different. And understanding the differences is key when forming and fighting a legal case.
Harassment is when someone acts in a way that makes you feel uncomfortable or unsafe because of your race, gender, sexual orientation, or other personal characteristics.
This can happen at work through unwanted touching, lewd comments, or even physical assault.
On the other hand, bullying is when someone repeatedly mistreats you, makes you feel inferior, and takes advantage of your vulnerability. This could be in the form of:
- Spreading rumors about you
While both harassment and bullying are harmful, harassment is more likely to involve a legal component.
Workplace harassment is illegal, and you may be entitled to compensation if you’re experiencing it. Conversely, bullying can be harder to prove and may not necessarily be against the law.
However, that doesn’t mean that you should tolerate it. As mentioned, no one has the right to make you feel uncomfortable or unsafe at work, and speaking with a workplace harassment lawyer can help you understand your legal options and protect your rights.
Other Types Of Bullying
Did you know that employment harassment lawyers can also help you fight cases for other types of bullying? In addition to physical and verbal harassment in the workplace, such as workplace bullying, two other forms of bullying are becoming increasingly common in the digital age: social media and online bullying.
Social Media Bullying
Social media has connected people worldwide but has also provided an outlet for bullies to harass individuals in the virtual world.
One of the amped-up forms of social media bullying is cyberstalking, which can include threats of harm or even death.
Additionally, bullies may try to damage your reputation by posting cruel comments or false allegations.
Even if the bullying occurs on a personal social media account, it can still have a negative impact on your work and well-being. Cyberbullying can affect your kids, too, making it important to look out for it and stop it when you see or hear about it.
Like social media bullying, online bullying can occur through various forums such as message boards and chat rooms, ranging from name-calling to cyber threats.
Online bullying is particularly troubling because it can be anonymous, making it difficult to identify the perpetrator and hold them accountable for their actions.
What Does A Workplace Harassment Lawyer Do?
If you’re experiencing harassment at work (or online, as mentioned above), a workplace harassment lawyer could be your knight in shining armor. These lawyers represent employees who have suffered harassment or discrimination in the workplace.
But what exactly does a workplace harassment lawyer do? In short, they fight for your rights and help you seek justice. Here are some of the tasks they may undertake:
- Provide legal advice: A workplace harassment lawyer can help you understand your rights under the law and advise you on what steps to take next
- Investigate your case: They’ll gather evidence, interview witnesses, and review documentation to build a case on your behalf
- Negotiate settlements: A good lawyer can negotiate with your employer on your behalf to secure a settlement that compensates you for your damages
- Represent you in court: If your case goes to court, your lawyer will represent you and argue your case before a judge or jury
- Help you navigate the legal system: A skilled lawyer can help you navigate the legal system and ensure that your case is handled properly from start to finish
- Offer emotional support: Dealing with workplace harassment can be extremely stressful and emotional. A good lawyer will offer both legal and emotional support throughout the process
So, whether you’ve experienced sexual harassment, discrimination, or any other form of workplace harassment, a workplace harassment lawyer can help you fight back.
10 Reasons To Hire A Workplace Harassment Lawyer
It’s never easy to confront harassment, whether from a coworker, supervisor, or boss. However, if you are experiencing harassment at work or witness it happening to someone else, it’s important to take action.
As evidenced above, one of the most effective steps is to talk to a workplace harassment lawyer. Not sure why or where to get started? Here are ten reasons why hiring a workplace harassment lawyer can help you fight against harassment, protect your rights, and achieve justice.
Knowledge And Expertise
A workplace harassment lawyer is an expert in the legal field of employment law. With their extensive knowledge and expertise, they can help you understand your legal rights, obligations, and options. They can also help you navigate the complex legal system and ensure your case is handled properly.
Protection From Retaliation
Unfortunately, speaking up about harassment can lead to retaliation from the harasser or employer. Workplace retaliation can come in many forms, such as demotions, termination, or promotion exclusion. A harassment lawyer can help you understand your rights and protect you from retaliation.
If you decide to take legal action against the harasser or employer, a workplace harassment lawyer can provide legal representation. They can represent you in court, file complaints with government agencies, or negotiate settlements.
Understanding Of Evidence
Harassment cases often involve complicated evidence. A harassment lawyer can help you understand the different types of evidence you may need to prove your case, such as witness statements, documentation, or audio/video recordings.
While some harassment cases go to trial, many are resolved through settlement negotiations. A workplace harassment lawyer can help you negotiate a fair settlement and protect your legal rights.
Dealing with harassment can be an incredibly stressful and emotional experience. A harassment lawyer can provide the emotional support you need during this difficult time. They can help you cope with the stress, anxiety, and trauma often associated with harassment.
Access to Resources
A workplace harassment lawyer has access to resources that can help you with your case. For example, they may be able to provide you with contact information for support groups, counseling services, or other helpful resources.
Additionally, they have connections within the legal world, meaning they can connect you with detectives and other professionals to help bolster your case.
Harassment cases can be incredibly sensitive and personal. A harassment lawyer can help you maintain confidentiality and protect your privacy throughout the legal process.
Dealing with harassment can be time-consuming, especially if you have to navigate the legal system independently. Hiring a lawyer can save you time and money, as they will take care of the legal aspects of your case. They can talk to witnesses, conduct research, and provide advice so you don’t have to navigate the legal system alone.
Finally, a workplace harassment lawyer can help you recover compensation for the harm you have suffered. Compensation can include lost wages, medical bills, emotional distress, and more. While you can often receive compensation by fighting your case, an experienced lawyer can negotiate to increase the settlement amount.
Tips For Finding The Right Lawyer
It’s hard enough to seek justice for the harassment you have experienced or witnessed. However, when you’re just starting the legal process, finding a reliable and experienced lawyer who can guide you through the legal process can feel even harder.
Here are five tips to help you find the right workplace harassment lawyer.
Do Your Research
Before hiring a lawyer, make sure to do your due diligence. Research different lawyers in your area who specialize in workplace harassment. Look for reviews, ratings, and feedback from previous clients to understand their expertise and experience in handling similar cases.
Look For A Specialist
Workplace harassment cases can be complex, and it’s always best to choose a lawyer specializing in employment law and extensive experience dealing with such cases. Ask the lawyer how much of their practice is focused on workplace harassment. Then, ask about the access they have to specialists in the space.
Schedule A Consultation
Before hiring a lawyer, set up an initial consultation to discuss your case and determine if they fit you. During this consultation, you can ask about their experience, fees, and how they plan to handle your case. For example, some lawyers work on a contingency fee basis, which is ultimately more beneficial to you as a client.
Check Their Credentials
When selecting a lawyer, always check their credentials. Make sure they’re licensed to practice law in your state and haven’t been subject to any disciplinary actions.
Trust Your Gut
Ultimately, hiring a lawyer is a personal decision. It’s important to trust your gut feeling when selecting one. Choose a lawyer you feel comfortable working with who has your best interests at heart and will fight vigorously on your behalf.
A Final Word About Workplace Harassment
Remember, if you’re experiencing workplace harassment, you’re not alone. It’s a serious issue that affects countless individuals every year.
Your mental and physical well-being should always come first, so don’t hesitate to seek help when needed. Studies show that victims of harassment often experience the following:
- Other long-lasting effects
You deserve to work in a safe and respectful environment, so don’t be afraid to speak up and take action. Whether you need to file a complaint, speak to a lawyer, or simply talk to a supportive friend or family member, help is available.
Remember, you’re not alone, and you always have options.
Dealing With Workplace Harassment
While you work to find a workplace harassment lawyer, it’s important to understand how to deal with what you’re experiencing. While online resources are helpful, we’ve compiled a complete guide.
Click here to read the full guide, “Workplace Harassment: How To Handle It.”