A sexual harassment claim does not happen all at once. A successful claim starts with submitting a report of sex-based workplace misconduct and can end with a trial award, an administrative award, or a settlement. So, let’s start at the beginning and discuss how to report sexual harassment at the workplace in CA.
Of course, one of the most important steps to take before you report sexual harassment is to speak to an experienced sexual harassment attorney. Sexual harassment attorney John Dalton has over 25 years of experience and has dedicated his practice to protecting mistreated workers.
Step 1: Call an Attorney
It is crucial that you consult with an attorney who can give you proper guidance regarding complaining about sexual harassment. If you even think there might conduct in your workplace that could be sexual harassment, please give us a call.
Step 2: Report the Harassment to a Supervisor or Human Resources
Whether you face quid pro quo sexual harassment or harassment that creates a hostile work environment, you should report it to your employer. An early report of the harassment to the appropriate authority figure at work can help you prove in a legal action that your harasser’s behavior was unwelcome. And if you want to hold your employer accountable for hostile work environment harassment, you typically must prove the following:
- Your harasser is a supervisor; or
- Your employer knew, or should have known, about the harassment.
Review your employer’s handbook and other employment policies to determine who is responsible for processing harassment reports at your workplace. And if your employer does not have a sexual harassment policy in place, notify a trusted supervisor about the harassment.
Step 3: File an Administrative Claim
Even if you want to file a workplace sexual harassment lawsuit in civil court, you must start your legal action by filing an administrative complaint with the state or federal government. If your harassment complaint is covered by Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, you can file a sexual harassment charge with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). And if your case is covered by California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act, you can file a sexual harassment complaint with the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH).
Your employer must have at least 15 employees if you want to file a charge with the EEOC, and you typically have only 180 days to file your charge (300 days if state law also covers your complaint). You can file a DFEH complaint against an employer of any size, and you must file it within three years. Again, it is very important you contact us before initiating this process.
Step 4: File a Lawsuit
You cannot file a sexual harassment lawsuit against your employer unless you have received a Notice of Right to Sue from the EEOC or the DFEH. Once more, to file a lawsuit, you will need an attorney.
What Damages Are Available in California for Workplace Sexual Harassment?
Sexual harassment claimants have the option of adjudicating or settling their claims. In any sexual harassment award or settlement, a claimant has the opportunity to recover the following damages:
- Back pay,
- Front pay,
- Compensation for emotional distress,
- Payment for related financial losses,
- Punitive damages to punish an employer’s or harasser’s exceptionally egregious behavior,
- Job reinstatement,
- Policy changes at work,
- Benefit reinstatement, and
- Legal costs.
The amount and types of damages available to you depend on the specific details of your case and how well the evidence is presented. If you want to maximize your recovery in a claim, please call us.
Reach Out to the Law Offices of John Dalton Today
John Dalton is an experienced, groundbreaking sexual harassment lawyer who serves employees all over California. John has litigated hundreds of employment discrimination cases, and he has won some of the largest sexual harassment verdicts in California.
If you need a strong advocate, reach out to our office. We cannot tolerate mistreatment in the workplace, and we are ready to protect you. You can call us now or contact us online to schedule a consultation.