Before moving forward with your lawsuit, you will likely have the opportunity to negotiate for a settlement.
If you have suffered sexual harassment at your workplace in Riverside, you might not be sure where to begin. This is a common feeling among victims, especially if you are not familiar with employment laws. Although this situation can seem complex and daunting, filing a sexual harassment lawsuit in California might be easier than you think – especially when you get help from a qualified attorney who has experience with sexual harassment cases. Follow a few easy steps, and you can hold your abuser accountable.
- Report the Incident
The first step is to report the incident to your employer. Sometimes, this is a relatively easy process, but you may encounter issues in a number of different ways. First of all, your supervisor may refuse to accept your report, brushing you aside and dismissing your claims. In this situation, you might need to take the matter to someone higher up the chain of command, such as an HR specialist or someone at corporate headquarters.
When filing your report, make sure to put everything in writing. Don’t settle for a verbal conversation, as your employer can later claim that the conversation never actually took place. Make copies of these reports.
- Inform the EEOC
If your employer seems unwilling to deal with the situation, you can reach out to the EEOC. This federal organization will then investigate the matter and help you hold your employer accountable.
- Gather Evidence
During this stage, you might also want to start gathering evidence of the sexual harassment. For example, you might have been fired for reporting the sexual harassment, and your employer may have come up with some kind of excuse for terminating your employment. Keep records of these excuses, as they may be useful later. Other forms of evidence may include inappropriate text messages, official sexual harassment reports, and more.
Before moving forward with your lawsuit, you will likely have the opportunity to negotiate for a settlement. This means that you will abandon the legal action in exchange for financial compensation. It is completely up to you whether you’d like to accept this settlement or hold your employer accountable in a public court.
- Go to Court (If Necessary)
If you do decide to move forward with a trial, your attorney will represent you. Their job will be to prove that the sexual harassment actually took place. A judge and a jury will then award you a verdict and ensure that your employer suffers additional consequences. Remember, the burden of proof is on you as a plaintiff.
- Connect with a Qualified Attorney
Last but not least, you need to get in touch with an attorney who has experience with sexual harassment lawsuits. In truth, this should actually be one of your first steps, if not the first step you take. Fortunately, there is no shortage of sexual harassment attorneys in California, and you can choose the best legal professional for your unique situation.