Experiencing sexual harassment at work is always unpleasant and can lead to ongoing problems at work. Frequently, employees face the dilemma of reporting sexual harassment and facing retaliation, or saying nothing and continuing to endure unwanted sexual conduct. Often, employees choose to say nothing and hope that the harassing conduct will cease. However, generally that emboldens the harasser and increases the frequency or severity of the conduct.
While we may not always be able to step in to stop the harassing behavior, we can always help you pursue your sexual harassment suit against the harasser and the employer who permitted the harassment to continue. Also, our Los Angeles sexual harassment lawyers can help you determine what evidence is needed to successfully pursue that case.
What Is Sexual Harassment in the Workplace?
Before filing a sexual harassment suit and obtaining evidence, it is important to understand what exactly sexual harassment entails. Essentially, sexual harassment can entail many kinds of actions or behaviors that are of a sexual nature and are unwanted. This can include requests for sexual favors, making sexual comments or sharing or displaying sexually-charged content. Each of these situations qualifies as sexual harassment and is in violation of federal and California law.
While women are more frequently the target of sexually harassing conduct by men, sexual harassment can happen to a person of any gender or sexual orientation. For example, we frequently help employees who have been the target of same sex harassment. Likewise, while a supervisor frequently is the harasser, sexual harassment may be by an employee’s subordinates or co-workers. Even a non-worker can engage in conduct that violates California and federal sexual harassment laws in the workplace.
What Are the Types of Evidence Used in a California Sexual Harassment Suit?
Bringing a sexual harassment suit against an abuser requires proving your claim through evidence. As such, it is always a good idea to record and retain documentation of any incident that occurs. Here are some common examples of evidence that are useful in a California sexual harassment case:
- Written accounts of each individual incident of sexual harassment
- Relevant emails, texts, voicemails or other memos
- Copies of any relevant medical records, including visits to a psychologist or counselor
- Performance reviews made by your employer
- Any responses by your employer regarding your complaints of sexual harassment
How Do I File a Workplace Sexual Harassment Claim?
Once you have gathered sufficient evidence for sexual harassment, your next step is to file an official claim. First, you should file a complaint with the appropriate person at your workplace. Your employer then has an obligation to investigate your claims of sexual harassment and take measures to stop the harassment from recurring in the workplace. However, if your employer fails to address the complaint or fails to offer you protections from further harassment, then you should consider filing a claim with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) or the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH). Both agencies will investigate the case and either issue you a “Right to Sue Letter” or assert a claim on your behalf against your employer.
Also, what you say to the EEOC or the DFEH is very important. So, we encourage you to contact a qualified employment lawyer before you file a formal complaint. That lawyer can guide you as to the best approach to framing your sexual harassment complaint. If, however, you already have received a Right to Sue letter, then you should contact an attorney immediately to discuss potential next steps, including the filing of a civil lawsuit.
Discuss Your Legal Options With a Los Angeles Sexual Harassment Lawyer
The legal team at Yadegar, Minoofar & Soleymani LLP has successfully litigated many types of civil claims, including taking sexual harassment cases to trial in court and arbitration. Of course, we also have a proven track record of obtaining favorable settlements, sometimes without even filing a lawsuit. If you have any questions or want to discuss your situation, then contact us online or give us a call at (310) 499-0140.