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How to Deal with Sexual Harassment at Work

Experiencing sexual harassment at work is something no one should have to go through. Sexual harassment occurs when any unwelcome sexual advances are made, or any conduct on the job is done which creates a hostile or offensive working environment.

If you have experienced sexual harassment in the workplace, you should not just have to deal with it. Rather, you should take the first step in putting an end to the situation by hiring an experienced attorney.

How to Stop and Prevent Sexual Harassment at Work

Sexual harassment in the work place can leave you feeling intimidated, ridiculed and helpless.

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There are certain things that can be done that may help reduce instances of sexual harassment in the workplace. One thing that can help is for your employer to have a clearly defined sexual harassment policy.

Having a straightforward policy detailing what constitutes sexual harassment and what consequences employees will face if they engage in such behaviors can go a long way toward preventing sexual harassment.

Another thing an employer can do to help combat this behavior is to train their employees, along with supervisors and managers using a program that defines sexual harassment and explains office procedure for dealing with a sexual harassment matter.

How to File a Sexual Harassment Claim – Step by Step

If you have experienced sexual harassment at work, filing a claim can be a powerful tool in getting these behaviors to stop. Below, you will find detailed steps to take to get started filing a claim for sexual harassment.

1.     Write down everything you remember about the experience

What day of the week was it? What time was it? Was anyone around you? What room(s) were you in? What was the name of the person(s) harassing you?

It is important to record every detail you can remember about what happened to you, since as time goes on, you may forget certain details that might become important later. You should be sure to write down a detailed description of the incident, the names of any witnesses, and to reiterate, the date or dates which the incident(s) occurred.

2.     Review your company policies regarding sexual harassment

You should take the time to review your company’s policies pertaining to sexual harassment. This way, you will know exactly who you should report the behavior to. You will also have an idea of what to expect.

3.     Report the incident or incidents to your supervisor or the human resources department

After reviewing your company policy, you should know exactly who to report the matter to. If the person who is sexually harassing you is your supervisor, you will need to speak to someone in a higher position than your boss or to someone in the HR department.

4.     Hire an attorney to handle your sexual harassment lawsuit

Having an attorney on your side can help you immensely as you fight back against the harassment you have experienced. You may be entitled to compensation for the injuries you suffered due to the harassment.

Contact leading LA-based employment attorneys, Feldman Browne Olivares.

Filing a Sexual Harassment Claim – FAQs

What is the next step after filing a sexual harassment claim?

After reporting the incident to your employer, you should then file a formal complaint with the EEOC. There is a deadline of 300 days from the incident to file your report with the EEOC. There are also state-specific deadlines that may be shorter, so it is important to file your claim as soon as possible.

You have up to one year from the date of the LAST incident of sexual harassment to file a claim with the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH), which is the State’s version of EEOC. You can file a complaint and request a Right to Sue authorization if you already have a lawyer and want to file a lawsuit immediately, or file a complaint for investigation by the DFEH if you don’t yet have an attorney and want the DFEH to investigate before you hire a lawyer. Or you and your lawyer may, for strategic reasons, elect to request that the DFEH investigate before suing to gather crucial information from the employer.

Because there are numerous potential traps and pitfalls in this process it is crucial to have proper advice and counsel on how to best protect your rights. Having an employment attorney on your side will help you navigate this process and make sure that you meet the necessary deadlines.

The next step is to pursue a case against your employer in civil court for damages that you may be entitled to due to the harassment you suffered.

What can happen to me if I lose my sexual harassment claim?

It is illegal for your employer to fire you because you filed a sexual harassment claim. If you are worried about losing your job if your claim is not successful, you should know that there are laws in place to protect you.

Importantly, if you win your claim in court the employer must pay your litigation expenses and attorney’s fees.

It is a good idea to contact an experienced attorney to help you file a sexual harassment claim. Your attorney will know the deadlines associated with your case and can help you get the results you deserve.