More often than not, an employee who finds him or herself in a position of coming forward with the sexual harassment complaint will be doing it for the first time, and will therefore have no prior experience to draw upon. The victim of workplace sexual harassment is often scared and does not know what to do. Here are three things that every employee should consider doing when complaining to his or her employer regarding unlawful sexual harassment in the workplace:
- Comply with the Employer’s Procedures for Making Complaints of Sexual Harassment
Some employers will have written complaint procedures. Some employers, particularly the larger ones, will also have designated individuals who are assigned the task of handling employee complaints. Some might even have an employee complaint hotline. When an employee decides to file a complaint of workplace sexual harassment, he or she should make every effort to utilize those procedures.
- Be Persistent and Go Up the Chain of Command If You Must
Some employees will finally muster the courage to make a complaint about sexual harassment in the workplace, but thereafter do nothing. This can be a mistake. While it is important to provide the employer with a reasonable opportunity to take corrective action, the failure to follow up with the employer’s representative regarding the status of the complaint can be a mistake.
Employees working in the human resources department, like all other employees, sometimes fail to do what they’re supposed to do, leave their jobs, go on a vacation, or take medical leave while a pending complaint remains unresolved. It is important for the victim of workplace sexual harassment to regularly follow up regarding the status of the investigation, and if necessary, go up the chain of command. If the human resources representative is slow to act, then one should consider going to his or her boss. If that person is slow to act, then perhaps the employee should go up the chain of command yet again, and so on and so forth.
- Document Everything!
One of the most critical mistakes that victims of sexual harassment sometimes make is failing to document their complaints properly. Oftentimes litigation regarding sexual harassment and sex-based discrimination in the workplace centers around whether or not the employee complained about the harassment, and if so to what extent.
Defendant employers will often claim a lack of knowledge about any harassment and allege that they were not properly notified. This something creates a situation where the employee will say one thing while the employer will say another, and ultimately it will be up to the jury to decide.
A victim of sexual harassment in the workplace can avoid this issue altogether by simply communicating everything in writing. Instead of walking over to the HR department and saying something verbally, it is better to document things in an e-mail or a text message.
Contact Akopyan Law Firm A.P.C.
Akopyan Law Firm A.P.C. proudly services clients in Burbank, Glendale, Los Angeles, and across Southern California. Our lawyers are fierce and experienced advocates. We work on a contingency fee basis, so there’s no need to worry about high hourly fees or costly retainers. We get paid a percentage of what we recover for you. Don’t just take our word for it – we have received glowing testimonials from numerous satisfied clients. If you’re in Los Angeles, and searching for sexual harassment attorneys, look no further than Akopyan Law Firm A.P.C. Contact us today for a complimentary case evaluation. If you’ve experienced or witnessed sexual harassment, our experienced legal team is here to support you visit us for more details.