Jennifer Gefsky Quoted in “How to Navigate 6 Tricky Work Situations—Plus Signs It’s Time to Visit HR”

Real Simple

Jennifer Gefsky, Member of the Firm in the Employment, Labor & Workforce Management practice, in the firm’s New York office, was quoted in Real Simple, in “How to Navigate 6 Tricky Work Situations—Plus Signs It’s Time to Visit HR,” by Kathleen M. Harris.

Following is an excerpt:

When a group of people with different personalities, backgrounds, ambitions, and personal problems are working in close proximity day in and day out, there’s bound to be conflict. It could be as small as an awkward coworker interaction or as all-consuming as a generally toxic work environment. Whatever the issue, you might be wondering who to turn to for answers or guidance. Should you deal with it yourself? Does your boss have your back? Would asking human resources be an overreaction? Here … insiders share what to do and who to trust when the trickiest work situations happen to you. …

You’re being sexually harassed.

If you’re dealing with unwelcome sexual advances or other verbal or physical harassment of a sexual or discriminatory nature, document everything relevant that’s happened for your records and immediately tell your boss, another supervisor, the legal department, or HR—whoever you’re most comfortable discussing the situation with.

Depending on state laws, managers and supervisors may be personally liable if they’ve been made aware of harassment and do not report it, says Jennifer Gefsky, a partner in the Employment, Labor & Workforce Management practice at Epstein Becker Green, a national law firm. Often a fear of retaliation prevents people from reporting sexual harassment, but retaliation is unlawful too. “You have a right as an employee to be in a harassment-free environment,” says Gefsky. “The Supreme Court tells us that.”