08/15/2011 // Los Angeles , CA, USA // Keller Grover LLP // Los Angeles Employment Lawyer Eric Grover
Los Angeles, CA (Los Angeles Employment Lawyer News) — Sexual harassment in the workplace occurs all too often across the U.S. by co-workers or even the boss. Whether the behavior includes inappropriate jokes or comments, unsolicited touching or groping, or even coercion, many employees feel helpless and tolerate it, due to the simple reason that they don’t know what to do about the unwanted attention for fear of losing their job, reports Eric Grover, a Los Angeles employment lawyer at Keller Grover LLP.
Many victims of sexual harassment in the workplace wonder if anyone will believe that they are being targeted with unwanted and inappropriate actions; whether or not they should pursue legal action against their employer; whether they’ll lose their job for reporting the incidents or even what they are experiencing is sexual harassment, explains the California employment attorney.
The behavior is defined as follows: Sexual harassment is a form of sex discrimination, which is unwelcome verbal, visual, or physical conduct of a sexual nature that is severe or pervasive and affects working conditions or creates a hostile work environment.
If you believe you have been, or currently are, a victim of sexual harassment in the workplace, there are a number of things you can do legally to stop the problem, including informal actions at your job and more formal steps like filing a lawsuit against the responsible parties.
1. Speak Up: The perpetrator may not even realize they are offending you or creating a hostile workplace, so let them know that what they are doing is not appropriate. Sometimes the responsible party will stop their offensive actions out of respect for you, but sometimes that person is not deterred and will continue with the behavior. Even if the harassment continues after the confrontation, you have at least given the harasser notice that you find their conduct offensive.
2. Take the Necessary Action Within Your Company’s Policy: If the sexual harassment continues, most companies have internal policies and procedures for handling sexual harassment claims. If your employer does not have such policies, you need to let your supervisor or boss know about the improper behavior. If it is your supervisor, then you need to report the actions to their supervisor.
3. Keep Records: It is imperative that victims of sexual harassment keep records of any harassment, your complaints, and any incidents related to the harassment — including dates, times, persons involved, and what was said. That should include the conversation, you have had with the harasser letting them know that you find their behavior offensive.
4. File an Administrative Charge: If you are unable to resolve the sexual harassment through your employer, you can file an administrative charge with a governmental agency, like the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) or your state’s human rights or civil rights enforcement agency. The governmental agency will investigate your claims and attempt to rectify it with your employer.
5. Hire an Employment Attorney: If the governmental agency cannot resolve your sexual harassment complaint, they will issue a “right to sue letter,” after which you will have to hire an employment lawyer to represent your case.
By filing and winning a sexual harassment lawsuit, you may be rewarded with:
• Reinstatement, if you lost your job because of the sexual harassment complaint.
• Back pay if you lost money or missed out on a raise because of the sexual harassment.
• Any fringe benefits lost.
• Damages for emotional distress as a result of the sexual harassment.
• A requirement that your employer initiate policies or training to stop harassment.
• Your attorney’s fees and court costs related to the sexual harassment lawsuit.
The employment lawyers at Keller Grover LLP are experienced in handling employment law cases. If you or someone you love has been a victim of workplace discrimination and harassment based on race, sex, age, and disability, or you believe your wage and hour rights were violated, contacting a knowledgeable Los Angeles employment lawyer can help get the justice you deserve.
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