Sexual harassment involves unwanted advances of the sexual nature. It can involve touching, comments, or many other actions, and it can affect both male and female employees. If an employee doesn’t go along with the advances, such as he or she doesn’t agree to date the manager, or if he or she doesn’t provide sexual favors, there could be a loss of employment, demotions, loss in pay, or other forms of punishment and negative treatment.
There are numerous employees subjected to sexual harassment in the workplace every year. While many complaints are filed and addressed, there are many employees who don’t file complaints and the inappropriate behavior continues. You should understand the process and know how to respond if you are the victim of this mistreatment by your manager, supervisor, or co-worker.
What Is A Charge Of Employment Discrimination?
A charge of employment discrimination is a statement saying that an employer engaged in sexual harassment of an employee. It is needed before a lawsuit can be filed. Employees have a strict time limit for pursuing a charge of employment discrimination. Usually, you only have anywhere from 180 to 300 days from the last incident to pursue a charge of employment discrimination.
You can either file your charge of discrimination in person, on the phone, by mail, or online. To submit the charge online, you will visit the EEOC website and submit the details via the portal. To make your claim over the phone, you will call the EEOC at 1-800-669-4000 and talk with a representative. You can use the EEOC public portal to schedule an in-person appointment at your nearest EEOC field office. There are 53 field offices spread across the country. When you have a face-to-face meeting, you should take any helpful information, including supporting evidence and any documentation that proves your claim along with you.
You can do a dual filing in which you also file a claim with the state or local fair employment agency. This dual filing will help protect your rights under both local and federal law. If you file your charge by mail, you should include specific information that supports your case. When you submit a claim, here are some details that you will need to provide to support your claim:
- Your name, address, email, and telephone number
- The number of employees that work for your employer – if you know how many work there
- You need to provide a short description of the actions that you believe were discriminatory, such as you were the victim of unwanted sexual advances from a manager, or you were told you wouldn’t get the promotion if you didn’t provide sexual favors
- When the discriminatory actions took place – in detail, such as in your office on a Monday morning shortly after you arrived at work, detail who all was present and what happened and how it happend
- Why you think you were discriminated against – because of your sex - such as the manager wanted sexual favors
- Your signature
If your letter isn’t properly signed, then it cannot be investigated. If additional information is needed, you will be contacted and told what other details must be supplied so a decision can be made.
After You Submit Your Charge
After you have submitted your charge, you will be contacted by the EEOC with a date and time for a meeting. If the EEOC staff member says that you can move forward with the charge, a mediation will be set up with your employer to resolve the matter.
How An Employment Lawyer Can Help
If you think that you have been sexually harassed by your manager or supervisor, you should contact an employment law attorney. When you hire an employment law attorney, you may be increasing your chances of a successful claim against your employer. While some employment law attorneys take cases on a contingency basis, which means that they aren’t paid until you win your claim, there are some lawyers who charge an hourly rate for legal cases. You should go over the fees and details of the case when you enlist your attorney’s help.
If you believe that you are the victim of sexual harassment in the workplace, you should complete the Free Case Evaluation Form on this page. An attorney who handles employment law cases such as discrimination matters, will review the details and determine the best way for you to proceed. Your lawyer can also help you file the charge of discrimination with the EEOC as well. There is a statute of limitations for pursuing a claim, so don’t wait until it is too late.