My client commented on my “sexy legs” after a meeting and later at dinner asked me to go to his hotel and touched my body inappropriately. I told my manger per “process” and I don’t know if she reported to HR but I was laid off for “performance” 2 weeks later. I have limited time to accept a severance package with disclosure to not take legal action or discuss the company again. It’s been a year of bully and abuse and I’m tired. What would you do? Take the $ and move on or take legal action?

likeupliftinghelpful
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I appreciate all of the support and responses here. It means more than you know to speak freely in an anonymous forum of peers and get advice separate from friends and family about this situation. I will update.

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Girl, I get it. Six years ago, I talked with a group of people online to figure out what to do when I figured out my dad was doing things like this--and soliciting minors online. I found out who to report his behaviors to & he was arrested eventually. I only share this to tell you speaking up is ALWAYS the right thing, no matter who tries to pressure you not to.

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It depends on how much you need the $$ and how much time and energy you're willing to invest. If you can afford to pursue legal action, I would. The reason companies, managers and clients like this continue to get away with this horrible behavior is because they know most people simply don't have the means or the energy to put up a fight. Personally, I'd do whatever it took to hold them accountable. Whatever you decide, I'd look into counseling to help you work through the trauma. I wish you the best of luck in whatever path you choose.

likehelpful

Touching “inappropriately” is assault. Talk to an attorney and get a copy of your company’s ethics policy. It likely says you need to report it, it’s not tolerated, and there’s no retaliation, etc. That will help your case bc they didn’t follow their own policy. Write out every thing that happened succinctly with dates and names. Don’t worry about sworn witnesses, look for emails you have to back up anything but in end they will want to pay you off to make it go away. Get attorney’s advice on whether you need to talk to HR now to get that on record. You’re likely not the first (or sadly, the last) to have this happen. Ask around discretely, they may know of others. Take care of yourself. Everyone wants to make things just go away but they don’t go away for you. You’re left with the stress and consequences looking for a new job and carrying this experience. Do what’s best for you. So sorry this happened to you.

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I’m sorry this has happened to you. Are you able to prove this was related? You could always contact a lawyer and see if you have a case if you feel that you want to pursue this.

likeuplifting

3 others on my team saw the touching and approached me about it and one heard the hotel advance. No one was around for 2 advances.

I can try to reach out to my former employees but they’d have to be willing to speak out against the company they work for. I’ve inquired with one lawyer, waiting on a response. I have just a week to sign severance or lose it and don’t have the biggest nest egg.

Not sure how I could connect it to my company … they gave no examples of my bad performance, but I just made a big deal for my agency for next fiscal year (organic growth) so I feel confident it wasn’t that.

I have lost my faith in fairness in todays corporate environment.

Ugh that is gross, I’m so sorry you experienced this. I wonder if there are any Legal Defense Funds that help people hold harassers accountable…

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I’d take action if I could afford to pass on the $. If you take the $ you might feel like you sold your dignity. Maybe not right away, but it could eat at you and make healing harder. Either way, talk to a therapist. I wish you the best.

likehelpful

I want to say I can't imagine everything you've been through & I'm sorry you're even having to deal with this. Dealing with a client like that is one of my worst fears. What you're doing is brave & could help other women come forward, or keep other women from experiencing the same things in the future.

This is such a tough call. And such a shitty situation your company put you in. It's unacceptable and you deserve better from them, especially since you brought them in so much money, but more importantly you did nothing wrong. You definitely seem to have a case which is why they are pressuring you sign a severance package. I would push it off as long as possible until you can talk to a lawyer so you really know your options and can make a decision in your best interest, not the company's.

likesmart

I agree here--you should always put yourself before a company that has laid you off after YOU were sexually abused.

I am so sorry this happened to you. This happened to me three years ago and I chose not to pursue legal action. I definitely regret it.

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Ask for more time and for proof they handled the complaint. If not, Have you considered going to the press and letting HR know that you are going to go public with the claim and how they dealt with it? Sounds shady but sometimes that's what it takes.

So sorry you are going through this.

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