Sexual Harassment in the Workplace

Being involved in any situation where you are experiencing sexual harassment can be very frightening and difficult, regardless of where it takes place. People in power may sometimes abuse their authority and sexually harass another person because they believe that the victim will be too afraid to speak up and report the harassment they are experiencing. Hence, the perpetrator will believe they can get away with his/her unlawful acts.

Tell us About your Case

Coleman-Legal_Sexual-Harassment-at-Work-Solicitors-in-Ireland

I am being/have been sexually harassed at work, what can I do?

Perpetrators can sexually harass someone for a range of different reasons, such as the perpetrator’s seniority, gender, size, popularity, a belief that in some way they think they are superior to their victims.

People who have experienced sexual harassment often feel shame about what has been done to them, they will ask themselves how they did not, or were not able, to prevent it, and victims will often blame themselves. They may try to cope with the trauma and shame alone without any help. It is important to remember that sexual harassment is never the victim’s fault. The shame and wrongdoing is wholly on the person carrying-out the sexual harassment, and not the victim.

The Employment Equality Act 1998-2015 Act states that bullying and harassment, including sexual harassment, is strictly outlawed in the workplace. The employer is obliged to take all reasonable steps to ensure a harassment-free environment in the workplace for all its employees. 

To speak with one of our medical negligence solicitors call 
1800 844 104 or complete our online enquiry form.

Who can I speak to about sexual harassment in the workplace?

If you have experienced sexual harassment in the workplace, it is important that you speak to someone about it and report it. If you have experienced sexual harassment in the workplace, try to speak up to someone you trust and report to your manager. There should be a Dignity at Work Policy that should direct you to an appointed personnel that can deal with your case in the workplace.

You can also seek help at the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission to learn more about your rights in a workplace or service are to be free from sexual harassment and advice about what to do.

If there is no one in work that you can speak to, you can speak about what is going on with a family member or friends. It is important to remember that sexual harassment is never the victim’s fault. If you are being sexually harassed it is never your fault and you should not feel ashamed or blame yourself. It is the perpetrator’s fault.

    What can I do if I am being sexually harassed in the workplace?

    If you are being harassed, bullied or intimidated by someone or a group of people, you may: 

    • Tell the person harassing you that their behaviour is unacceptable and unwanted if you feel comfortable doing so and if you are in a safe situation to do so. If the harassing does not stop, go to the Gardaí.
    • If you are being cyberbullied or the bullying is occurring online, block them and report them
    • If the harassment is occurring in the workplace, report the harassment to a manager on duty, the Human Resources Department or someone else in authority
    • You may go to an appointed personnel that deals with harassment in the workplace. Some organisations have staff who have been trained to support a colleague experiencing harassment or bullying
    • If a boss or senior is harassing you, then make the complaint to somebody else in charge. It is very important that you keep a journal record of the sexual harassment you are experiencing here
    • Speak to someone you trust about what is happening
    • Keep a journal record of the sexual harassment you are experiencing
    • If the harassment persists, you can complaint to the Gardai or you can contact us. You can do by writing a letter of complaint or an email with details of the harassment (include what was said, what was done, what you said and what you did to stop the behaviour) and remember to keep a copy

    In the case that the sexual harassment you are experiencing is taking a toll on your mental health, please speak to a medical professional or support service to help you during this difficult time. The impact of sexual harassment can be quite severe. The National Sexual Violence Helpline is there for people experiencing sexual harassment, and Rape Crisis Centres provide counselling also.

    What is the law in Ireland in relation to sexual harassment in the workplace?

    Under The Employment Equality Act 1998-2015 Act, bullying and harassment including sexual harassment is strictly outlawed in the workplace (even for agency workers and trainees), whether it be:

    • by an employer
    • another employee
    • clients or customers
    • any business contacts of the employer
    • and anyone the employer could reasonably expect the worker to come into contact with.

    The employer is obliged to take all reasonable steps to ensure a harassment-free environment in the workplace for all its employees.

    If the employer fails to provide a harassment-free work environment, the person who was sexually harassed could take a case against their employer or the employer of the service they were using to the Workplace Relations Commission or a civil court.  

    There is no specific law in relation to sexual harassment outside of a workplace, but there is a law relating to harassment. The Non-Fatal Offences Against the Person Act 1997 states that harassment is a crime. 

    Harassment is described as that which, “has the purpose or effect of violating a person’s dignity and creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment for the person” under this law and so sexual harassment is included in this law as a form of harassment. Sexual harassment is defined as “unwanted verbal, non-verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature” which is unwelcomed or offensive, humiliating or intimidating.

    Who can I go to for advice if I have been sexually harassed in the workplace?

    You can get more information and advice from these organisations in Ireland:

    For more information regarding Sexual Harassment, please read – Bullying at the workplace Article

    Support Organisations

    If you or someone you care about has suffered childhood sexual abuse, or sexual harassment in the workplace there are various support organisations you can contact

    ONE IN FOUR

    This organisation offers a voice to and support for women and men who have experienced sexual abuse and/or sexual violence and also to their family and friends. You can contact them on  

    01 662 4070

    dublin rape crisis centre

    The centre offers a confidential, 24-hour telephone helpline, 7 days a week staffed by trained counsellors who are available to listen to you and any concerns you may have in regard to issues of rape, sexual assault, sexual harassment or childhood sexual abuse. Contact them on

    (01) 661 4911 or 1800 778 888

    NATIONAL OFFICE FOR ABUSE VICTIMS

    As part of the Government programme to assist those persons who as children were abused in Institutions; and in co-operation with groups representing victims of abuse. Free-phone help-line: 1800 25 25 24 (if you are calling from the UK the number is: 

    0800 039 0301

    care.ie

    Therapy and Support for Children affected by Childhood Sexual Abuse. 

    safe ireland.ie

    Support for Women and Children who are victims of Domestic Abuse.

    Barnardos.ie

    Provide support for children who have been or are victims of childhood sexual abuse, and other areas. 

    How We Can Help ?

    Our dedicated team has extensive experience in claims relating to Sexual Harassment in the Workplace and we are ready to advise and assist you with a claim. If you have experienced harassment or sexual harassment in the workplace and you have questions surrounding the incident, please contact our Sexual Harassment in the Workplace Team today at Coleman Legal to find out if you have a potential legal action.

    Philip Treacy

    Senior Solicitor
    (Sexual Abuse Law Team)

     

     PTreacy@colemanlegal.ie
    01-5313800

    View PROFILE

    Rose Sweeney

    Senior Personal Injury Litigator

     

     rose@colemanlegal.ie
    01-5313800

    View Profile

    I found out about Coleman Legal while searching online for a solicitor that could fight for me. When I got in contact with them they were there for me every step of the way. I am so thankful for the support they gave me until my medical negligence claim was settled. The whole team are very friendly, nice and compassionate. I am so grateful for all their help

    For the last 5 years you have fought for me more than anyone has ever fought for me in my entire life. I will forever be thankful for all that you have done for me. There are just not enough kind words

    I wish to thank Dave and Kathrin for your sensitive handling of my successful civil case. I will always be thankful for your guidance and care. I don’t know what I would have done without your help and professionalism.   

    I was thoroughly pleased with the service and support I received from Coleman Legal Team. I received efficient and detailed communication without delay and felt that I was given the best possible advise with my interest at heart. I found their services to be exceptional. The team at Coleman Legal gave me un-compromised attention and guided me through the entire process with comfort and care, I truly felt at ease with this company

    *In contentious business, a solicitor may not calculate fees or other charges as a percentage or proportion of any award or settlement. This statement is made in compliance with RE.8 of SI 518 of 2002.

    Location

    84 Talbot Street, Dublin 1

    D01 YX60

    Contact us

    Free Phone: (1800) 844 104

    Email: info@colemanlegal.ie

    Call Now ButtonCALL