The Office of the Attorney General says “failure to report the conduct in any way may impact your ability to further pursue remedies against your employer.”
While many acts of sexual harassment are motivated by “sexual desire,” other acts are driven by discrimination. Sexual harassment is considered to be a form of sex discrimination, and therefore, the behavior does violate both Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act.
If you were sexually harassed at work or outside of the workplace by someone you work with, there are a few ways you can address the issue. The sooner the incident is addressed, the more likely the behavior is to discontinue.
Ways California’s can address sexual harassment in the workplace
- Review your company’s sexual harassment policy.
If you work for a large corporation or even a smaller business with multiple employees, your employer is likely to have a sexual harassment policy in place. Read through the policy to gain a better understanding of the process you are expected to follow when an incident like this occurs. The California Department of Justice, Office of the Attorney General suggests that you also put your complaint in writing.
Tip: If you work for a small business or your employer has yet to adopt a sexual harassment policy, you can always contact a California sexual harassment lawyer who can explain your legal rights in the matter.
- Notify your employer.
If your employer is not the perpetrator behind the act, notify him/her of the incident you were involved in. The Office of the Attorney General says “failure to report the conduct in any way may impact your ability to further pursue remedies against your employer,” therefore, it is recommended that you report the incident to a manager or supervisor as soon as possible.
- File a complaint with the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH).
The DFEH “is the state agency charged with protecting Californians from unlawful discrimination in employment.” If your employer or someone in your workplace is guilty of sexual harassment, you can file a complaint with the DFEH by mail, online, or even over the phone. The agency will investigate the matter and may even be able to help you recover damages.
- Call 911.
Oftentimes, sexual harassment won’t result in a person facing criminal charges. However, there are actions that do constitute as criminal offenses. If someone in your workplace has inappropriately touched you, forced you to engage in sexual intercourse, or is stalking you, this would then be a matter the police can assist with.
- Contact a sexual harassment attorney in California.
A California sexual harassment lawyer will take the time to help you understand how an incident of this nature should be addressed and what you can personally do to shed light on the matter. In addition, a lawyer can also determine if you should be provided with damages and assist you with recovering them.
Need help locating a California sexual harassment attorney in your city? No problem. USAttorneys.com is here to help.