What to do if you have been sexually harrassed or even assaulted in the work place and your employer has not satisfactorly addressed the problem?

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What to do if you have been sexually harrassed or even assaulted in the work place and your employer has not satisfactorly addressed the problem?

Myself and the other 2 woman I share an office feel we have been both verbally harassed, physically touched in inappropriate manners and verbally abused. The most recent incident occurred when a technician slapped one of our dispatchers on the behind in front of a room full of other technicians, as well as supervisors, in front of our surveillance cameras. One supervisor stated that he thought the dispatcher took it as a joke, while the office manager asked her what she did to instigate the technician to do what he did. This is only one of many incidences that have occur ed and the only on video.

Asked on June 2, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, Colorado

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Employers are not generally liable for the first or an isolated incident of sexual harassment (assuming there was no prior warning of some kind that it was likely), so long as they take appropriate and reasonable action when it is reported. Howeever, if there is an ongoing pattern of harassment which the employer refuses to address, that failure can make the employer liable for its employees' sexual harassment. From what you write, you and your colleagues may have a claim, and the three of you may wish to either contact the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) or your state's equal/civil rights agency, and/or to speak with a private attorney about possibly bringing a lawsuit. Good luck.


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