Facing sexual harassment at work? Here’s what you should know about filing a complaint

Facing sexual harassment at work? Here’s what you should know about filing a complaint

Sexual harassment at workplace is a form of discrimination. It violates the Title VII of the civil rights law.

But what constitutes sexual harassment? It generally takes either of these two forms:

  1. Your promotions, assignments, or even your job depends on you being submissive to the harassment, or
  2. You have to work in a hostile work environment where sexual harassment is rampant

You don’t have to keep quiet about it! There are laws protecting you and your right to work in a safe environment. So what can you do then? File a complaint!

How to file a complaint?

  1. The first step should be reviewing the company policies. Most employers have a pre-determined process of filing such a complaint through the human resources department.
  2. If there is no such policy at your workplace, or if it doesn’t work for any reason, you can also file a complaint with Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). The government agency will investigate the case and will take suitable action with the employer.
  3. Another thing you can do is file a sexual harassment lawsuit in a civil court. You will need to provide evidence for support of the claim. This may be a witness testimony or written statements.

State laws often require you to take all the steps to address the issue before you file a lawsuit. That is to say, you will need to have approached a government agency first.

If you’ve completed the requirements and want to file a case, hire an experienced employment law attorney to represent you.

What types of complaints you can file?

As we discussed previously, there are two forms of sexual harassment that can occur at your workplace. Similarly, you can file different complaints for it too.

For the first type, you can file a ‘Quid Pro Quo’ harassment claim. The employer has the burden of proof in most areas. This means that the employer or supervisor, against whom the complaint is made, has to prove innocence. Furthermore, they can’t discharge you from the job in retaliation.

For the harassing environment, you can file a ‘Hostile Work Environment’ claim. If your supervisor knew about the harassment or learned about this behavior and failed to take suitable action, then your employers will be held accountable in court.

Filing a complaint can be intimidating. It can also be distressing as the legal procedures and evidence submission takes time. We recommend hiring a labor law attorney who can represent your case. You can contact Hardin and Lott, an experienced law firm that offers the services of lawyers who have previously represented similar cases.

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