The Human Resources (HR) department within an organization is responsible for investigating all claims of sexual harassment. HR representatives should take disciplinary action against harassers and protect the victims to ensure the workplace is a safe space for all employees. But unfortunately, some companies do not have HR departments. Because of this, it’s important to learn how to deal with sexual harassment when your company doesn’t have an HR department.
Check the Employee Handbook
Every company should have an employee handbook that is distributed to employees within their first few days of work. Even if the company does not have an HR department, this handbook should contain information on the sexual harassment policy and investigation procedure. Not having one of these written policies could make it impossible for an employer to defend themselves against sexual harassment claims in court. For this reason, most employers make an effort to include a written sexual harassment policy within their employee handbook.
Read the handbook to see if it mentions who is responsible for handling sexual harassment complaints. If it does, contact this person right away.
Speak With A Senior Level Manager
If the employee handbook does not contain information on the sexual harassment complaint procedure, it’s best to report this issue to a senior level manager. You can start the conversation by asking who to speak to about the company’s sexual harassment policy. At this point, the manager will most likely either direct you to the right person or invite you to file a complaint with him.
When reporting an incident to a manager, it’s important to remember that he is not a trained HR representative. He may think you are simply venting about your frustrations with a co-worker instead of filing a formal complaint. Therefore, it never hurts to remind him that you expect the company to launch an investigation into your allegations of sexual harassment.
Contact An Employment Attorney
Sometimes, the person that is supposed to take your complaints is the one who is harassing you. For example, if you are being harassed by a senior level manager, you may not know who to turn to for help when there is no HR department. When this happens, it’s best to seek help from an employment law attorney. An attorney can advise you on how to report the complaint, document the evidence, and take legal action if nothing is done to protect you.
Have you been sexually harassed in the workplace? If so, contact Armstrong & Vaught, P.L.C. right away. Our experienced attorneys are committed to holding employers accountable for failing to protect your rights. Call us now at 918-582-2500, toll free at (800) 722-8880, or contact us online for a free consultation with a skilled attorney.