What Should I Do If I am Sexually Harassed?January 17, 2022
Sexual harassment is a widespread issue in California, causing suffering and pain and limiting the victims’ lives. According to Measuring #MeToo: A National Study on Sexual Harassment and Assault In the State of California, 53% of men and 86% of women reported experiencing sexual harassment in their lifetime.
Unfortunately, sexual harassment is still prevalent. In 2020, 21,398 individuals in California filed sex-related claims with the EEOC. If you are experiencing sexual harassment in your workplace, here’s what you should do.
The two most common types of sexual harassment involve a hostile work environment and quid pro quo harassment. Hostile work environment harassment involves unwanted pervasive or severe behavior that interferes with or disrupts your work. This can include suggestive emails or texts, unwanted touching, or sending sexually explicit pictures or videos.
Quid pro quo harassment occurs when a part of your employment is subject to performing a sexual request. For example, a manager promises to give you more hours if you go out or have sex with them. Regardless of what kind of sexual harassment you’re experiencing, it is immensely vital to document each one related to the harassment, including:
- The exact place, time, and date of the incident, what happened, and if there were any witnesses.
- Tell a trusted co-worker, friend, or family member, and write down what you discussed during those conversations.
- Take screenshots and keep copies of all relevant texts, emails, social media posts, photos, or videos.
- Keep records about your job performance and productivity and review your personnel file or performance report, if possible. You can use these records as evidence if your work performance is questioned or disputed.
- Keep all your documentation at home and not on your work computer. Make backup copies as well.
Report The Sexual Harassment to Your Employer
Before you can file a complaint with any government agency or file a lawsuit, you must report the incident to your employer first. Follow your company’s reporting policy and report the incident to the proper individual.
File Your Complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)
If you have reported the sexual harassment to your employer and the company fails to take action, you can then file your complaint with the EEOC. You’re protected against retaliation from your employer if you file a complaint with the EEOC.
Consult with an Attorney
Even if you’re still unsure about filing a lawsuit, speaking to a Santa Barbara, CA, employment discrimination attorney with experience in sexual harassment will help you understand the options available to you.
Talk to a Skilled Santa Barbara, CA, Sexual Harassment Lawyer Today
If you have any questions or concerns about sexual harassment, please don’t hesitate to contact The Law Offices of Bamieh & De Smeth, PLC. You can explore your options with our Santa Barbara, CA, sexual harassment lawyer by calling 805-643-5555 or contacting us online.
Also, keep in mind that if you do not stand up to sexual harassment, there might be other victims, and the harasser’s behavior will just get worse. Remember, your employer is legally obligated to keep the workplace safe and free from any kind of discrimination.