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How to Pursue a Sexual Harassment Claim

June 06, 2024

author bio pic of Lily  Filippatos

Written by Lily Filippatos

Brought to you by Filippatos Empoyment Law, Litigation & ADR

Sexual harassment in the workplace is an unfortunate reality that affects many individuals across various industries. If you find yourself subjected to such unacceptable behavior, it is crucial to understand your rights and options for recourse. This guide aims to provide actionable steps on how to pursue a sexual harassment claim, empowering individuals to address and confront such misconduct effectively.

Understanding Sexual Harassment

Before delving into the process of pursuing a sexual harassment claim, it is essential to grasp what constitutes sexual harassment. It includes unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, or any other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature that creates a hostile or offensive work environment. Recognizing such behavior is the first step in addressing it.

Recognizing the Signs of Sexual Harassment

Identifying instances of sexual harassment is imperative for taking appropriate action. It can manifest in various forms, including:

  • Unwanted physical contact or advances
  • Sexually explicit remarks or jokes
  • Displaying sexually suggestive materials
  • Implied or explicit promises of preferential treatment in exchange for sexual favors

Reporting Sexual Harassment

If you experience sexual harassment in the workplace, it is crucial to report it promptly. Here’s how to navigate the reporting process effectively:

Reporting to a Manager or HR Department

Informing your manager or the human resources (HR) department about the harassment is often the initial step. Provide detailed information about the incidents, including dates, times, and witnesses, if any. Your employer has a legal obligation to investigate and address complaints of sexual harassment promptly.

Documenting the Harassment

Keep a detailed record of the harassment incidents, including any relevant emails, messages, or documents. Documentation serves as crucial evidence to support your claim and can bolster your case during the investigation process.

Dealing with Workplace Sexual Harassment

Dealing with workplace sexual harassment can be emotionally challenging, but it is essential to respond assertively and protect your rights:

Seeking Support

Reach out to sexual harassment lawyers or legal professionals specializing in employment law for guidance and support. They can provide valuable advice on your rights, options, and the legal steps involved in pursuing a sexual harassment claim.

Understanding Retaliation

Fear of retaliation is a common concern for individuals reporting sexual harassment. It is illegal for employers to retaliate against employees for filing harassment complaints or participating in investigations. If you experience retaliation, document the incidents and report them immediately.

Responding to Sexual Harassment

Responding effectively to sexual harassment involves taking proactive steps to address the misconduct and seek resolution:

Engaging in Mediation or Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR)

In some cases, employers may offer mediation or ADR processes to resolve sexual harassment complaints. While these methods can provide a quicker resolution, it is essential to ensure that your rights are protected throughout the process.

Filing a Formal Complaint

If informal resolution attempts fail to address the harassment adequately, you may consider filing a formal complaint with the relevant government agency, such as the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) or state employment department. Sexual harassment lawyers can assist you in navigating the administrative process and representing your interests.

What to Do If Sexually Harassed at Work

If you are sexually harassed at work, knowing your options and rights is crucial for taking appropriate action:

Understanding Legal Remedies

Victims of sexual harassment may be entitled to various legal remedies, including monetary damages, injunctive relief, and reinstatement. Sexual harassment lawyers can evaluate your case and advise you on the potential outcomes and remedies available.

Promoting Workplace Equality

Promoting workplace equality and preventing discrimination requires a collective effort from employers, employees, and policymakers. Employers should establish clear anti-harassment policies, provide training on appropriate workplace behavior, and take swift action to address instances of harassment.

Conclusion

Addressing sexual harassment in the workplace requires a multifaceted approach that prioritizes prevention, reporting, and accountability. By understanding your rights and taking proactive steps to address harassment, you can help create a safer and more inclusive work environment for all. Remember, you’re not alone—sexual harassment lawyers and support resources are available to assist you every step of the way.

Call Us

We at Filippatos PLLC stand in proud solidarity with all employees. If you are experiencing sexual harassment at work, please give us a call at 888-9-JOBLAW for a free consultation. We will do our utmost to help secure you the justice you deserve.