How to Sue Your Employer for Sexual Harassment
Sexual harassment in the workplace should be taken seriously. If you have experienced sexual harassment at work, you can bring a lawsuit against your employer. Before you can file a lawsuit, there are certain steps you must take. You should understand how sexual harassment is defined, exhaust your administrative remedies, and contact an employment attorney who can help you organize your lawsuit.
Understanding Sexual Harassment
Sexual harassment violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (“Title VII”). It is considered a form of sex discrimination.
Sexual harassment can include:
- Unwelcome sexual advances
- Requests for sexual favors
- Verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature
The harasser can be:
- A supervisor
- A co-worker
- A non-employee
- An agent of your employer
- Of the opposite sex
- Of the same sex
You should take action as soon as possible if this conduct is:
- Affecting your employment
- Affecting your work performance
- Creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive work environment
Remember to keep a record of any sexual harassment you experience. It is important to have a written record to refer to when discussing your case with an employment attorney and organizing a lawsuit. Write down what was done and/or said, when the harassment occurred, and names of those involved.
Sexual Harassment Remedies
First, you should let the harasser know that his or her conduct is offensive, if possible. This will benefit you in the long-run. It helps to prove that the conduct was unwelcome.
Next, you should follow your employer’s procedures for filing a complaint. If your company has an HR department, you should contact them. If your employer does not have a set procedure regarding sexual harassment complaints, make sure your management is aware of the problem. If they are aware, they should attempt to resolve the problem.
If your issue is not resolved, or you wish to pursue it further, you should file a charge with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”). This federal agency enforces civil rights laws, including Title VII. You should request that your charge be dual-filed with the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission (“PHRC”). The PHRC is the state agency in Pennsylvania that enforces civil rights laws. You have 180 days from the date you experienced the sexual harassment to file a charge. The EEOC will investigate your charge. After the investigation concludes, you can bring a lawsuit against your employer. If the investigation lasts 180 days or longer, you can request a “right to sue” letter. Once you recive this “right to sue” letter, you can file the lawsuit. You have 90 days to file upon receiving the letter or upon the investigation’s conclusion.
Contact an Attorney for your Sexual Harassment Case
An attorney can help you prove that you experienced unlawful, unwanted sexual harassment and exhausted all administrative remedies before filing a lawsuit. Using his or her knowledge of the law and experience representing employees, he or she will build you the strongest possible case. When it comes time to file, your attorney will determine what to include in your lawsuit and were to file it. Be sure you have the legal guidance and representation you deserve.
KM&A offers free and immediate consultations with a sexual harassment attorney. It is our philosophy that aggressively pursuing our clients’ interests means that we have to be extremely accessible. Don’t hesitate to contact us at 412-626-5626 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org for a free consultation.