In Michigan, sexual harassment is illegal under both state and federal law, meaning that employees who are subjected to sexual harassment at work can pursue a legal claim against their employer and/or the actual harasser. Before filing a government claim or a lawsuit, employees should see if the matter can be resolved internally. Even if it feels like it is too late to report the harassment because the damage has been done, reporting harassment to HR or to a supervisor may prevent other employees from being harassed at work.
Unfortunately, HR does not always respond as it should to complaints of sexual harassment. It is natural for employees to feel scared about reporting sexual harassment. If the company retaliates against the employee for complaining about sexual harassment, this retaliation can also be the basis for a lawsuit.
In some circumstances, employees may feel like they can be direct with their harasser before fillina a complaint. If this is the case, employees should tell the harasser that the behavior is making them uncomfortable and that they want it to stop.
If the company does not take any action in response to a complaint of sexual harassment, employees may want to consult with an employment law attorney.