When Is It Appropriate to File a Sexual Harassment Lawsuit?

Every person has the right to a safe work environment and should not have to tolerate any type of harassment in the workplace. If you have been the victim of sexual harassment at work, you should seek legal counsel immediately.

What Is Sexual Harassment?

Sexual harassment is any unwanted sexual advance or obscene remark made by a co-worker, supervisor, client, or customer. By law, it is illegal to harass anyone based on their sex in ways including:

  • unwanted sexual advances; and/or
  • requests for sexual favors.

Furthermore, sexual harassment doesn’t have to be of a sexual nature; it can also be connected to a person’s gender. The law allows for anyone to file a sexual harassment lawsuit if they have proof that this harassment led to a hostile work environment.

Sexual Harassment Laws

California has some of the strictest harassment laws and toughest protections for workers in the United States. This is due to the Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA), which prohibits all outright forms of sexual harassment.

What to Do When You Are Sexually Harassed at Work

When you are sexually harassed at work there are a few things you should do in order to prepare for a legal action. These steps include:

  1. Recording the Incidents: If the unwanted behavior continues more than once, make a record of every incident of harassment. This could mean writing a detailed account on paper or recording the harasser’s words on your phone.
  2. Reporting the Incident to Your Employer: Tell a department with authority about any sexual harassment incident that made you feel uncomfortable. You are obligated to report harassment to your place of work before you can file a lawsuit. Not only will it give your employer a chance to diffuse the situation, but it will also create more evidence of the harassment should you take your claim to court.
  3. Learning Your Employer’s Complaint Procedures: Most companies have policies regarding how to handle complaints of sexual harassment. Ask to see these policies so you can follow the correct reporting procedures.
  4. Filing a Complaint with a Government Agency: After you have reported the harassment to your employer, you can file a discrimination complaint with either the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) or California’s Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH). Once you have done this, you can take your case to a state or federal court.
  5. Filing a Civil Lawsuit: If your employer failed to stop the actions of your harasser, you can seek damages for a civil sexual harassment lawsuit. These damages can be monetary, a loss of benefits, emotional distress, and/or legal fees.

We Will Advocate for Your Rights

At Palmer Rodak & Associates, our sexual harassment attorneys will help you build a strong case against your harasser. We will fight for your rights in and out of the courtroom as we seek compensation on your behalf.

Contact our firm online or call us at (760) 573-2223 to get started on your lawsuit.