How to report sexual harassment at work | Manukyan Law Firm
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Steps to Take to Report Sexual Harassment at Work

Steps to Take to Report Sexual Harassment at Work

Things You Can Do to Protect Yourself

If you are a victim of sexual harassment at work, there are several things you can do to protect yourself. First, keep in mind that throughout the process, you must document your complaints and responses. It is crucial in case you ever have to prove your case to a company investigator, a government agency, or a jury.

1. Ask the harasser to stop

Although this confrontation can be brutal, it is often the most effective way to deal with bullying. It is fundamental to let the harasser know that the behavior is unwelcome (vital to meeting the legal definition of sexual harassment).

If the harasser ignores your verbal requests to stop, or if you are uncomfortable talking to the harasser face-to-face, write a short letter stating that the behavior is offensive and should be stopped.

2. Go to your supervisors

The U.S. Supreme Court has clarified that employees who do not use the internal grievance procedure to report to the company cannot hold the company liable in a lawsuit. What this means is that you are likely to lose in court, should it come to that.

Consult the employee handbook. Is there a sexual harassment or complaints policy? Even if your company does not have a formal complaint procedure, you should notify the company of the harassment through a supervisor or someone in the human resources department.

3. Go to a government agency before filing a lawsuit

If complaining to your employer doesn’t help, the next step is to contact a federal agency that enforces Title VII, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), or the U.S. employment office in your state. You must do this before filing a federal lawsuit.

The EEOC or the state agency may decide to process your case on its behalf, although it is not a typical case. Most likely, the agency will issue you a document called a “right to sue” letter, which allows you to take your case to court with your own attorney. However, keep in mind that there are time limits for filing claims with government agencies and filing a lawsuit.


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