The Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) prohibits sexual harassment in the workplace. Sexual harassment may include unwanted sexual advances, verbal or physical sexual overtures or propositions, and threats or bribes requiring sexual acts in exchange. You have the right to work in a work environment that is free from discrimination and harassment. Below, our sexual harassment lawyers in Los Angeles explain what to do if you are sexually harassed at work.
Speak to an Experienced Los Angeles Sexual Harassment Lawyer
We understand that being a victim of workplace sexual harassment can be a traumatic experience. Standing up for your rights against this type of harassment may feel like an uncomfortable and intimidating prospect, especially doing it alone. We recommend that you speak with one of our Los Angeles sexual harassment attorneys as your first step.
We can help you determine your legal options based on your unique situation. Then, we can work with you to help you make important decisions about your legal rights and guide you through the entire legal process.
Document the Sexual Harassment
If you are experiencing sexual harassment at work in Los Angeles, make sure to document all relevant details, including, but not limited to:
- Date and time of the harassment
- What the harasser said and/or his or her actions
- How you responded to the harassment
- Witnesses of the harassment
You should keep these details electronically; for example, by emailing yourself in your own personal email account. If that is not possible, make sure to keep your documents in a safe place outside of the workplace.
If the sexual harassment occurred through email, online or through text, save copies. This information is important evidence for your potential sexual harassment lawsuit.
Report the Sexual Harassment to Your Employer
If you believe that you have been sexually harassed, you should report it to your employer. Some employers have policies that tell you to whom you should report this type of harassment. If so, you should follow your employer’s protocols. If your employer does not have a policy, or if you are being harassed by the person who is responsible for taking sexual harassment complaints, you should report the conduct to your supervisor or any human resources specialist. It is also possible that your company has an ombudsman assigned to take reports of harassment.
It is normal to feel worried about reporting this conduct. However, know that your employer cannot legally retaliate against you after you have reported the harassment. Additionally, your ability to pursue other legal remedies may be negatively impacted if you fail to report the conduct.
Try to submit your complaint in writing (preferably by email), so there is proof that you followed your employer’s sexual harassment procedures. You should also request written documentation that your complaint was received. Keep copies of any written exchanges and/or exchanged documents during this process.
File a Formal Complaint for Sexual Harassment in the Workplace
If your employer has not responded to your complaint, has not remedied the situation or has retaliated against you due to your complaint, consider filing a formal complaint with the appropriate state or federal agency. If you are suffering from sexual harassment in the workplace in Los Angeles, you should file a complaint with the Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH).
You only have three years from the last time you were sexually harassed to file the complaint. It is important that you move quickly, so you do not miss the deadline to file. There are important rights that get implicated when you initiate a DFEH complaint. Therefore, it is advantageous to have an experienced sexual harassment lawyer guide you through the process and assist with filing the complaint. You can learn more about the sexual harassment complaint process on the DFEH website.
File a Civil Lawsuit for Sexual Harassment
You may have the option to file a civil lawsuit against the responsible party. However, you must first obtain a “Right to Sue” from DFEH. Depending on your unique situation, your sexual harassment lawyer may advise you to obtain an immediate Right to-Sue notice instead of permitting DFEH to investigate your claim.
Discuss Your Situation With a Los Angeles Sexual Harassment Attorney From Our Firm
If you are suffering from sexual harassment at work in Los Angeles, speaking with an employment law attorney at Yadegar, Minoofar & Soleymani LLP is recommended to address your concerns. Call our Los Angeles sexual harassment lawyers at (310) 499-0140 to discuss your situation, or contact us online.