Sexual harassment is defined as any unwelcomed sexual conduct towards you in your workplace that prevents you from doing your job. It is a form of sex discrimination that violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
This Title is applicable to employers who employ 15 or more workers, including local and state government employers. Not all offensive comments will necessarily qualify as sexual harassment.
If you are confronted with conduct from a co-worker or supervisor that you believe is sexual harassment you should contact a lawyer who will decide if the sexual harassment violates workplace law.
Employment Law Attorneys Can Help File Your Claim
When you are confronted with a case of sexual harassment at work you will need to determine who you should report the incident to.
An experienced employment lawyer can help you decide which person at your workplace is the right one to file a complaint. As well as helping you to prepare a sexual harassment report an employment lawyer will inform you of the next steps you can take.
Sometimes an employer may mock you once you have filed your report. It is the legal duty of any employer to follow up your complaint and try to stop the sexual harassment.
If the employer fails to do this your employment lawyer can help you file a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunities Commission (EEOC).
How a Lawyer Can Help You File Your Claim
When your lawyer helps you file a complaint with the EEOC s/he will ensure you have all the evidence to prove it is a genuine sexual harassment case.
The EEOC will look at the type of sexual harassment and where and how it took place. It will determine if your employer has violated the law.
It may arrange mediation between you and your employer which your lawyer can attend. If the mediation fails the next stage is to file a lawsuit against your employer.
The EEOC’s next step is to issue to you a Notice of Right to Sue. This document will state that the EEOC agrees that your allegations of sexual harassment at work are valid and that you may proceed with litigation.
As soon as you have received the Notice of Right to Sue, you and your lawyer can begin the process of filing a civil lawsuit against your employer in order to claim any damages caused to you.
Typically in a case of sexual harassment damages are usually awarded for emotional injuries, loss of income from having to take time off work due to the harassment, and the need for counseling.
If your employment lawyer can prove that your employer deliberately allowed the sexual harassment to persist you may also be awarded punitive damages.
An Employment Lawyer Can Help Gather Evidence for a Lawsuit
If your employment lawyer decides that a lawsuit is the only way you will be able to seek justice for your sexual harassment she or he will help you with all the paperwork needed for the lawsuit.
You will require evidence that proves the sexual harassment has taken place. Useful evidence could include any of the following:
- Accounts written by your co-workers who have witnessed the sexual harassment;
- Recordings of phone calls made to you by the harasser;
- Print-offs of text messages sent to you;
- Surveillance camera footage showing advances made by the harasser.
As soon as you and your employment are happy that the evidence cannot be disputed the process for filing a lawsuit can begin.