Harassment is a prevalent problem in many workplaces in Michigan and other parts of the country. Supervisors and coworkers sometimes harass certain employees based on sex, race, religion, or other factors. Specific workplaces are also more prone to sexual harassment cases. If you believe that you are being harassed at work, there are certain steps that you should take to resolve the situation.
Report the Situation
Generally speaking, harassment claims should first be brought to the attention of the human resources department. However, HR representatives work for the company and don’t always look out for the best interests of employees. Your company’s HR department is supposed to investigate all harassment claims, but these claims don’t have to be kept confidential. If supervisors or coworkers find out that you reported an alleged case of harassment, you might face retaliatory actions.
If you work for a larger nationwide or international company, you may have to report your claim to a different department. Review your employee handbook or check your employer’s website to see if any hotlines handle harassment claims.
Submit the Appropriate Evidence
When you present your harassment claim to your HR department or another responsible party in your company, it is vital that you submit the right documentation for review. You should record the dates and times when the instances of harassment occurred along with detailed information about the nature of each situation.
Michigan law prohibits recording any conversations without the other person’s consent, so you won’t be able to use any audio recordings as evidence unless you have voicemails or other consensual recordings that were left by the alleged offender. If security cameras are used to monitor your workplace, you can use any footage of harassment taking place to support your claim. Emails and screenshots of chats can also serve as valuable evidence.
You may be wondering if the type of harassment you sustained is punishable by law. Sexual harassment and other forms of harassment are not considered criminal offenses but do violate the law. Most harassment claims are considered civil matters and are not prosecutable in criminal court. If you hire an attorney, your legal representative can help you prove your case and get monetary compensation. In Michigan, compensatory damages are not limited by statute.
Every person has a right to work in a harassment-free environment. A lawyer can offer you legal guidance if you are the victim of workplace harassment. The attorneys at Michigan Legal Center work tirelessly to fight for victims of workplace harassment. We have over 20 years of experience helping Michigan workers protect themselves from harassment and discrimination in their jobs. Contact us today at (800) 961-8477 for a free case evaluation.