WHAT TO DO IF YOU’VE BEEN SEXUALLY HARASSED
Sexual harassment on the job is common. In one recent year, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) received 11,364 complaints of sexual harassment. Eighty-four percent of the complaints were filed by women and 16 percent by men. This is only the tip of the iceberg, however. Sexual harassment is an illegal activity that goes unreported more often than not. In a recent poll conducted by the Huffington Post, 13 percent of those who responded said they had been sexually harassed by a boss or another superior, and 19 percent reported having been harassed by another employee. Seventy percent said they did not report the harassment!
STEPS TO TAKE WHEN YOU’VE BEEN SEXUALLY HARASSED
- Tell the person harassing you to stop. Be clear and emphatic. Let the harasser know that your next step will be to file a complaint with your employer.
- Check your employee handbook to determine if the company has a policy for dealing with sexual harassment. If it does, make a complaint, following the policy precisely.
- If you belong to a union, report the harassment to your shop steward. The National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) requires unions to represent and assist their members in ending sexual harassment. Don’t wait; you only have six months from the date of the offense to file a complaint. If your union does not act, you may file a complaint with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB).
- Document the harassment. Photograph offensive material. Record a description of the offensive behavior in a journal with dates and details.
- Tell others about the behavior.
- If the harassment reaches the level of a criminal act, i.e. sexual assault, file a police report.
- If possible ,get copies of your employee evaluations and personnel file before making an official complaint.
- Consult an employment attorney with experience in handling sexual harassment cases.
- With your attorney’s help, file a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) or California’s Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH), and follow with a lawsuit.
HOW YOUR SEXUAL HARASSMENT LAWYER WILL HELP
When you bring the Haeggquist & Eck team on board, we’ll begin by helping you file a timely claim with the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) or the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH). You have a limited amount of time from the last incident to file, so don’t wait to contact our firm.
The agency that receives your complaint will conduct its own investigation of the company or organization, and assuming it finds your claim to be valid, will issue a “right-to-sue” letter that allows you and your attorney to file a lawsuit against the company. If the investigation finds that you were not harassed, your attorney can appeal the finding.
Your attorney will try to settle your claim out of court whenever possible. You may be entitled to the following:
- Reinstatement if you’ve been terminated as a result of your complaint;
- Compensatory and punitive damages;
- Back pay for lost wages and benefits;
- An injunction forcing the company to put a stop to the harassment
- Attorney fees
WE ARE SAN DIEGO’S SEXUAL HARASSMENT LAWYERS.
Contact us today to schedule your free consultation.