When faced with sexual harassment, a victim may experience feelings of shame, disbelief, and shock. As a result, it can be difficult to ensure that you take the appropriate steps towards rectifying the situation. Prior to filing a lawsuit against your employer, there are specific steps you should take to allow your employer to correct the situation.
Confronting the Person Harassing You
Although it may be difficult, directly confronting the person who is harassing you may put a stop to the problem. In some situations, the person who is behaving poorly may be unaware of their behavior. Sometimes, this can be scary, especially if you are fearful that the harassment will worsen.
Reporting Sexual Harassment to Your Employer
Read up on sexual harassment policies your company has in place. There should be information posted or written in the employee handbook. This can give you a clear outline for how an employer will handle reports of sexual harassment. Speak with either your supervisor or human resources manager regarding the sexual harassment complaint you have. This gives them the opportunity to take action.
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)
Your next step is to file a complaint to the EEOC for the sexual harassment you encountered. You will provide them with detailed information that should include your account, dates the harassment occurred, and any evidence that you have. The EEOC will work with your employer to investigate the complaint against them and attempt to come to a solution. You will receive a right to sue letter from the EEOC if they are unable to resolve the issue and have determined that you have a case to bring to court.
Taking Legal Action
Obtaining an attorney prior to filing a lawsuit can be beneficial. Having them involved in the process from the start can be helpful when it’s time to take legal action. If your employer fails to take action, they can be held legally responsible for the harassment you have endured. You may be able to file a lawsuit against your employer to obtain the following:
- If you were fired you may be able to get your old job back
- Lost wages from time away from work or missed promotions
- Future medical expenses for things such as therapy
- Emotional damages
- Legal fees
In order to move forward with a lawsuit, the sexual harassment will need to be fairly significant. The result of sexual harassment can have a damaging impact on a person. This is especially true in situations where people have suffered retaliation at their place of employment. Retaliation tactics include:
- Poor performance reviews
- Loss of job
Sexual harassment in the workplace can have a lasting impact on those who suffer. An attorney with experience in this area of practice can be helpful in navigating a process that can be complex.
If you have experienced sexual harassment in the workplace, speaking with a lawyer, like a discrimination lawyer Washington DC from Eric Siegel Law, can help provide you with an appropriate plan of action.