Apart from causing tremendous emotional damage and hardship, sexual harassment is also a serious legal issue. If you’ve suffered harassment, you may be wondering how long it will take to work with a sexual harassment lawyer and bring your case to a resolution. We’ll provide information to answer that question and more in the following article.
Ask a Sexual Harassment Lawyer: How Long Does a Harassment Case Usually Take?
As with any court case, there are many variables that can affect how long a sexual harassment case can take. As a general guideline, you can expect your case to be resolved within the span of two years. This will allow time for all of the various steps involved with bringing a trial through to fruition.
Depending on the exact circumstances of your situation, your case may take much more or less time to reach a resolution. However, it’s important that you get the process started as soon as possible by getting in contact with a lawyer. They will be able to advise you on the steps you need to take while evidence is still readily available, helping to improve the odds of your case leading to a favorable resolution.
Identifying Sexual Harassment
Sometimes, it may not be immediately clear whether or not sexual harassment has taken place. This can be especially true with harassers who try to minimize their behavior and claim that the accuser is simply taking things too seriously. To help you better understand the harassment you face, here are the types of sexual harassment that are covered under the law:
Harassment can come in the form of things people say. There are many ways this type of sexual harassment might manifest, including in unwanted sexual advances or nicknames that have a sexual or demeaning connotation. Another possibility is jokes of a sexual nature. While the harasser might claim that these are simply jokes and shouldn’t be taken so seriously. No one deserves to be demeaned through humor and these types of jokes are serious harassment.
There doesn’t need to be anything spoken for harassment to have taken place. Blowing kisses, suggestive winking, sexualized staring, or other nonverbal forms of communication can also constitute harassment under the eyes of the law. This category of harassment also includes things such as stalking or following on the part of the harasser, as well as the harasser exposing themselves to someone.
Some of the most serious incidents of sexual harassment fall under the category of physical harassment. Any form of unwanted touching falls under this category. So, even things that might be written off as innocuous such as a touch on the shoulder might qualify. This also includes hugging or kissing from the harasser. While these can be affectionate gestures in the right context, they have absolutely no place in workplace relationships and should be considered harassment.
What to Do If You Suffer Sexual Harassment
Sexual harassment is a devastating experience that can leave the victim confused and uncertain about how to act. However, it’s important that you take action swiftly so that you can get on the path toward justice. Here are some steps to take if you’ve been the victim of harassment:
Record the Behavior
Too many sexual harassment cases end up with the word of the accuser against the word of the accused. To avoid this pitfall and have adequate evidence on your side, you should create a record of the harassment you suffered. If the harassment took place over written or recorded mediums, be certain to keep records of what was said. If the harassment wasn’t recorded, take your own notes so you have a detailed account to reference throughout the case.
Follow Company Procedure
Your company should have a policy about how to handle incidents of sexual harassment. Provided that this framework is in place, you should follow the procedure that your company has to report the incident. Hopefully, this will lead to your employer taking necessary action to protect you. However, even if your employer doesn’t comply, reporting the incident will create a record of what happened that could be useful in the case later on.
Contact a Lawyer
You shouldn’t have to fight against the injustice of sexual harassment alone. Getting experienced Kansas City workplace sexual harassment attorneys on your side will help you navigate the complexities of your case with greater ease. Representing yourself in the courtroom, particularly on a subject as emotionally charged as sexual harassment, is a daunting challenge for anybody. Get assistance to give yourself the best chance of achieving the justice you deserve.
Don’t take on your harassers alone, and don’t feel pressured to accept a settlement on the issue either. Instead, consult with an experienced legal professional so that you can get objective advice on the best next steps to take.