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What should I do if I think I am being sexually harassed?

Sexual Harassment Attorneys in Sacramento

What should I do if I think I am being sexually harassed?

First, tell the harasser to stop if you feel it is possible to do so. If not, that’s totally understandable. We have been in both situations – where we were able to confront the harasser and also when we were not able to confront the harasser – so we truly understand.

sexual harassment at workWe offer a few words of support to those who are considering telling the harasser to stop — we know that it is scary and can be really hard to do this. But you have the right to tell the harasser that what he or she is doing is wrong. If you can have someone who will support you there when you tell him or her to stop, that could be very helpful, both emotionally and in the future for corroboration that you told him or her to stop. If you are not able to have a witness present, send him or her an email confirming that you told him or her to stop, or at least send the email to yourself detailing what you said, when, where and what he or she said. Please know that it is illegal for an employer to retaliate against an employee for reporting sexual harassment. You are supposed to be free to report sexual harassment — your employer’s policies probably even encourage you to report the conduct. If you reported the sexually harassing conduct and/or are worried about retaliation, contact one of our sexual harassment lawyers to get compassionate support and help.

To those who do not feel they can confront their harasser – we truly understand and respect your instincts. There are many reasons why you may feel it is impossible to confront your harasser, including fear of retaliation, responsibilities to you family, or fear that the harasser’s conduct could escalate. If you feel you cannot confront your harasser, this means that you need to get help sooner rather than later because there is a serious power imbalance at work. Remember, we understand because we have been through this ourselves and we have represented many victims of sexual harassment. Unfortunately, our experience is that it is not likely to get better once sexual harassment starts. So it is important to contact one of our sexual harassment lawyers to get compassionate support and help.

It is important to document the harassment carefully, and detail your reporting of the sexually harassing conduct (if you have reported) and the responses of your employer. The attorneys you contact at our office will discreetly ask you for the details of what happened and when, so that we can assess your case. Please do not worry if you do not already have detailed information, you can provide your best recollection of the events and estimates of dates. Also, it’s important for you to keep all written communications like texts, instant messages, social media messages, emails, etc., and provide those to us for our review in assessing your case.

Reporting the harassing conduct to the employer, i.e. someone who is not your harasser, is important and is probably required by your employer’s policies. Even though it is scary to do this, reporting helps you begin taking back your power and can truly help protect others. We understand that there are circumstances, like where the harasser is the head of the company or another very powerful person, when reporting may feel unrealistic or impossible. This reality speaks to the power imbalance you are experiencing, and we are here to help. We are happy to talk with you about this and help you make the right decision under your specific circumstances.

Contact one of our sexual harassment attorneys to help compassionately guide you through the process.

Once you report the sexual harassment, your employer has an obligation to conduct an immediate, full and fair investigation, stop the harassment and punish the harasser (assuming the wrongful conduct occurred). Your employer is breaking the law if it does not take action or if you are retaliated against.

If your employer does not respond in an appropriate and satisfactory manner – meaning conduct an immediate, full and fair investigation, stops the harassment and punishes the harasser, you may wish to pursue a legal claim. In California, sexual harassment claims require that you to file a complaint with the Department of Fair Employment and Housing (https://www.dfeh.ca.gov) no later than one year after the wrongful conduct. Once you file with the Department of Fair Employment and Housing and receive a “right-to-sue notice,” you have one year to file a claim in civil court.

Finally, sexual harassment and victimization can be devastating to anyone who experiences this conduct. Please take good care of yourself and seek out therapy if at all possible. Talking about these experiences helps us process what happened and begins the healing process. Seeking help is not a sign of weakness — rather, it is a sign of courage. Contact one of our sexual harassment lawyers in Sacramento to help compassionately guide you through the process of obtaining help.

Why are we the best sexual harassment lawyers for you?

As Sacramento Sexual Harassment Lawyers we are passionate, relentless victim’s rights and employment lawyers who have earned a solid reputation fighting for California employee rights. Through single-plaintiff, multi-plaintiff and class action cases, we have obtained in excess of $30 million in settlements and verdicts for our clients. But just as significantly, we have improved the working conditions for countless employees and we have helped numerous victims recover. We care about victim’ rights, and we make a difference. We hope we can help you too.

Take back your power. Contact us now at (916) 440-8600.

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