Sexual and racial discrimination can occur in any workplace. Victims are belittled, bullied, mocked, stalked and, sometimes, attacked. No matter where you work, there are mean people and predators ready to make you their next victim. Offices, sometimes, harbor cultures that condone such behavior.
The #MeToo movement gained traction in the country in late 2017 and continues to empower victims of workplace sexual harassment. In Oregon, a high-profile sexual and racial harassment case surfaced in June when a former assistant district attorney said she intended to file a lawsuit against her former workplace.
Superiors ignored her concerns
Jasmyn Troncoso, a former Deschutes County deputy district attorney in Bend, plans to sue her former employer. She lasted less than a year on job, resigning because she said she could no longer be part of a “toxic” workplace. A Mexican-American, Troncoso said that she was subjected to sexual and racial harassment from co-workers. She said that she relayed her concerns to three superiors, who failed to stop the behavior.
If you are the victim of workplace sexual or racial harassment, here is what you need to do:
- Keep a thorough journal about every incident that happened. Include times, dates, locations, the people involved, description of the incident as well as witnesses.
- Maintain every record related to the incidents. This would include emails, texts, voicemails and social media communiques.
- Know your company’s policies dealing with sexual and racial harassment.
- Report incidents to your managers or a human resources representative. If your manager is the predator, go to human resources. But always remember that human resources usually advocates for the company and not the employee.
- If you are the victim of a crime, contact law enforcement.
- Seek legal advice from a skilled employment attorney.
You deserve respect and dignity in the workplace. Anything less than that, and you know that you are not among allies. Take action and stand up for yourself if subjected to workplace harassment.