It Is Illegal for an Employer to Retaliate Against an Employee for Reporting Sexual Harassment
Please know that it is illegal for an employer to retaliate against an employee for reporting sexual harassment. You are supposed to be free to report sexual harassment — your employer’s policies probably even encourage you to report the conduct. If you reported the sexually harassing conduct and/or are worried about retaliation, contact one of our sexual harassment lawyersto get compassionate support and help.
To those who do not feel they can confront their harasser – we truly understand and respect your instincts. There are many reasons why you may feel it is impossible to confront your harasser, including fear of retaliation, responsibilities to you family, or fear that the harasser’s conduct could escalate. If you feel you cannot confront your harasser, this means that you need to get help sooner rather than later because there is a serious power imbalance at work.
Remember, we understand because we have been through this ourselves and we have represented many victims of sexual harassment. Unfortunately, our experience is that it is not likely to get better once sexual harassment starts. So it is important to contact one of our sexual harassment lawyers to get compassionate support and help.
Document The Harassment Carefully
It is important to document the harassment carefully, and detail your reporting of the sexually harassing conduct (if you have reported) and the responses of your employer. The attorneys you contact at the Genie Harrison Law Firm will ask you for the details of what happened and when, so that we can assess your case.
Please do not worry if you do not already have detailed information, you can provide your best recollection of the events and estimates of dates. Also, it’s important for you to keep all written communications like texts, instant messages, social media messages, emails, etc., and provide those to us for our review in assessing your case.
Reporting The Harassment to Your Employer May Be Required by Your Employer’s Policies
Reporting the harassing conduct to the employer, i.e. someone who is not your harasser, is important and is probably required by your employer’s policies. Even though it is scary to do this, reporting helps you begin taking back your power and can truly help protect others.
We understand that there are circumstances, like where the harasser is the head of the company or another very powerful person, when reporting may feel unrealistic or impossible. This reality speaks to the power imbalance you are experiencing, and we are here to help.
We are happy to talk with you about this and help you make the right decision under your specific circumstances. Contact one of our sexual harassment lawyers to help compassionately guide you through the process.
Report the Harassment, Your Employer Must Take Action
Once you report the sexual harassment, your employer has an obligation to conduct an immediate, full and fair investigation, stop the harassment and punish the harasser (assuming the wrongful conduct occurred). Your employer is breaking the law if it does not take action or if you are retaliated against.
NOTE: Documentation in this context means that you write down conversations and interactions – both the harassing conduct, with dates, witnesses, and the words used or conduct engaged in, and your reporting activity along with your employer’s response. Please be aware that in California, you must receive consent from all the parties in order to audio record a confidential conversation. (http://codes.findlaw.com/ca/penal-code/pen-sect-632.html). However communications made in a public gathering or in any other circumstance in which the parties to the conversation do not have a reasonable expectation of privacy may be recorded without the consent of all parties.
In California, Sexual Harassment Claims Must Be Filed No Later Than ONE YEAR After The Wrongful Conduct
If your employer does not respond in an appropriate and satisfactory manner – meaning conduct an immediate, full and fair investigation, stops the harassment and punishes the harasser, you may wish to pursue a legal claim.
In California, sexual harassment claims require that you to file a complaint with the Department of Fair Employment and Housing (www.dfeh.ca.gov) no later than one year after the wrongful conduct. Once you file with the Department of Fair Employment and Housing and receive a “right-to-sue notice,” you have one year to file a claim in civil court.
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