Colleagues and neighbors familiar with each other may make comments or remarks that sound too sexual. You may find yourself in such a situation. If that has happened over and over again – a colleague calling you a term of endearment or a neighbor remarking on your body – it may be a form of sexual harassment.
What do you do if you find yourself battling sexual harassment in any setting? It is time to find and hire a sexual harassment firm or lawyer. Such a lawyer is usually well-versed in determining whether you have a case and how to get justice. Consider hiring a sexual harassment attorney before saying anything to anyone. That way, you do not destroy your case before it starts.
This guide explains sexual harassment according to the law and things to consider when hiring a lawyer to handle your case.
Sexual Harassment: What It Is
According to the law, sexual harassment is any unwanted sexual advances, whether physical or verbal and any sexual favor requests from any party, which can make the environment hostile and unwelcoming. Every negative comment with a sexual innuendo will not qualify as harassment, so you must know how to differentiate issues. This is where a lawyer is valuable.
Some workplaces may require that you report an alleged sexual harassment case to the human resource department or manager before taking it outside the office. However, note that the law exempts you from reporting such a case to the managerial staff or HR if the alleged guilty party is a manager or employer.
If that happens, a lawyer with the right experience will help you determine the best person to report the case to while helping you detail the incident. This can help you skip having to talk face-to-face with the manager or any other staff member if you are nervous or unwilling to speak with them. You can click here to learn more about this issue.
Factors to Consider When Hiring a Sexual Harassment Lawyer
Before you rush to find an attorney to represent you in a case of sexual harassment, whether in the office or anywhere else, consider a few things. You will find many lawyers claiming to have the right experience for such cases, but not everyone can meet your needs.
1. Experience or Reputation
One of the first things to consider before hiring a lawyer is their reputation and track record. In other words, you must carry out a background check to determine if they are the right fit for your case.
You must also pick someone who would not make you uncomfortable discussing a sensitive issue. But that should not take the place of selecting an experienced representative to get the best results and justice.
You may not know it, but some lawyers specialize in sexual harassment, especially in the workplace. Employment attorneys are usually experienced in these cases, but it is best to find one whose specialty.
Next, check what the reviews say about them. Avoid reviews that sound like paid ads and look for those from real people who have used that firm or the services of that attorney. Reviews are a treasure trove of information for anything you seek, including information about the track record of any lawyer you want to hire.
Therefore, research and read all reviews, positive and negative, because you must know the downsides of hiring them. That way, you arm yourself ahead before meeting them. You already know what to expect.
4. Pay Rate
Another crucial factor is the attorney’s pay rate you want to hire. If money is not an issue, you can choose the top firms and lawyers specializing in such cases. However, finding an affordable attorney whose pay rate will not make you break the bank is crucial. Also, the payment pattern must be flexible, especially if you will work with them for a long time.
Beware of firms or individuals who demand payment upfront instead of breaking it down for the duration of the contract. Discuss the terms before signing the contract, or ask a more knowledgeable person to peruse the contract to ensure your interests are covered. This resource https://www.salary.com/ explains more about the hourly rates of lawyers.
This factor may not be at the top of the list, but using a lawyer within the same city or town is usually more advantageous than using one from out of town. You will likely be familiar with them, and they may know everyone involved in the case, making it easy to discuss terms.
Also, it is easy to see them; they will likely understand local laws and how employment works in the town or city. These are some benefits of using a local lawyer, but ensure they have the experience, professionalism, and expertise to handle your case.
6. Ability to Be Compassionate
You do not want to work with an attorney who lacks compassion when handling a sensitive case like sexual harassment. It may not always be easy to find one with this trait, but they should pay attention, listen carefully to everything you say, and ask questions that show they heard you.
They do not have to agree with you on everything, but your emotions are involved, so you need someone who sympathizes and shows compassion. That way, they can make informed decisions.
7. Number of Cases Won
Experience is one thing; winning is entirely different. The attorney you select for your case must have a proven track record of winning such cases. It brings confidence, so you can rest assured knowing you are in good hands.
Signs of Sexual Harassment
Several signs of sexual harassment can alert you of an issue in a workplace, home, or neighborhood. If you are unsure, look for signs like comments about your body, dressing, non-consensual flirting, jokes and comments with sexual innuendos, unwelcome touching, and stalking with bodily exposure.
Let someone know about these things if you have suspicions; ensure it is someone with the knowledge and ability to do something about it. An attorney is in the best position to determine if you have a case and ensure you get justice if you do.
Finding and hiring a good sexual harassment lawyer is easy if you know what to do. You do not have to remain silent any longer; follow the steps in this guide to determine who is best suited for your needs. Also, check for signs of harassment before reporting it to the appropriate authorities if unsure of what is happening.