I’ve Been Sexually Harassed At Work – What Do I Do?

Unfortunately, sexual harassment in the workplace is common. Sexual harassment is a form of sexual discrimination that violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Title VII applies to employers who employ 15 or more people.

There are several different ways sexual harassment can happen. Examples of sexual harassment include unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other physical or verbal conduct of a sexual nature that affects the individual’s job.

According to the EEOC, sexual harassment is unwelcome sexual advances, verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature, and requests for sexual favors when submission to such conduct is a term or condition of employment at the organization.

This requirement can be implied, stated outright, or implicit. Submission to or rejection of the conduct is a basis for employment decisions or conduct of a sexual nature creates a hostile, intimidating, or offensive working environment.

Put Your Complaint In Writing

If you have reason to believe you have been discriminated against, and that your employer violated Title VII, you should put your complaint in writing. It is imperative that you take notes immediately after you experienced the harassment, so you can recall the specific details while it is fresh in your mind.

When you document everything, you need to note the date, time, and place of the incident or incidents. You should also keep copies of all communication, such as emails, text messages, notes, and memos.

Ask any witnesses to provide you with written statements regarding what they heard or saw. Be sure to write down the names and contact details for any witnesses.

If you think that you have been discriminated against under Title VII, you have the right to file a charge of discrimination with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).

The EEOC is the federal agency that is charged with enforcing anti-discrimination laws. If you visit the EEOC website, it will walk you through the process of filing a charge.

Submitting Your Claim

Before you submit the complaint, you will need to make copies of all the documents, including your formal complaint. You should ask a formal meeting so you can have evidence that you made an official claim and that you followed procedures and submit a copy of the claim to human resources or the person in charge of such matters at your work.

Next Steps You Can Take

If you have been the victim of sexual harassment in the workplace, you should speak with an employment law attorney who is licensed to handle such claims in your state.

With the help of a lawyer, you are much more likely to have a successful claim and recover compensation for your damages.

Some employment law attorneys work on the contingency basis, which means that you wouldn’t have to pay anything out of pocket. Instead, your attorney would be paid only when you win your case.

Other employment law attorneys charge an hourly fee, and in that case, you will have to pay a retainer upfront. You should go over the fee schedule and how payment should be made when you enlist the help of an employment law attorney for your sexual harassment case against your employer.

There is a time limit, or a strict statute of limitations for pursuing a claim against your employer for sexual harassment. Complete the Free Case Evaluation Form on this page to have the details of your claim reviewed by an attorney who deals with employment law cases in your area.