Many employees consider their workplace as safe grounds. Once they enter the work premises, they may feel a sense of comfort and would never think that anything bad could happen to them in this environment.
Unfortunately, issues such as sexual harassment can still occur in the workplace. Termination threats, denied promotions and hostile environments are just some forms of sexual harassment victims can experience for refusing sexual favors in the workplace.
If you are unsure what to do, the following can guide you to take your first step in reporting sexual misconduct in your place of work.
Reporting to HR
Since it is a measure within reach of the employee, reporting to the Human Resources (HR) department is one of the victim’s first options. One of the primary responsibilities of an HR officer is to process employee complaints properly and fairly. While the complaint is under investigation, HR is expected to ensure a safe environment for the complainant and prevent any harassment or retaliation from happening.
If one believes the company failed to conduct the investigation properly, one can file a complaint with an external agency instead.
Filing a complaint with the Missouri Commission on Human Rights (MCHR)
The Missouri Human Rights Act protects employees from workplace discrimination and harassment. A victim can file a complaint with the MCHR within 180 days of the alleged workplace sexual harassment.
It can be difficult for many victims to report sexual misconduct against them, especially when there is fear of retaliation. However, knowing that they have available remedies and protection both internally and externally can give them reassurance and confidence to file the complaint.