Uninvited sexual advances happen in our workplaces and San Jose sexual harassment attorneys see cases like this far too often. You may find yourself subjected to inappropriate jokes, touching or catcalling. You may feel overwhelmed, cornered and frightened. Sexual harassment affects both men and women. Sexual harassment can negatively impact your ability to work as you continue to face intimidation, hostility and sexual violence. If you are experiencing sexual harassment at work, continue reading for advice on the actions you can take.
Experiencing Sexual Harassment at Work? Here’s What You Can Do
- Know what the company policy says
Understand what your company’s policies are regarding sexual harassment. This information is usually available during recruitment and it details the steps you can take to seek intervention. Company policies may illustrate what can be classified as sexual harassment and what may not, as well as the disciplinary actions the company can take against offenders.
- Make your stand known
If you don’t speak up, the harasser might think that their advances are appropriate and offend again. Tell them to stop and be specific about what they do that makes you uncomfortable. Hopefully, if they mean well, they will stop. If the harassment does not stop, you should talk to the offender’s supervisor.
- Collect evidence
If talking to them doesn’t get them to stop, then you should start collecting evidence that you can use to seek justice within or outside the organization. Keep a journal of every incidence of sexual harassment. Write down details like the nature of the offense, the time, the date, the name of the harasser and witnesses present. It is better to write too much rather than not enough. Keep all emails or memos you have received and place hard copies in your journal, if possible. It is illegal to record conversations within California without consent. However, exceptions do exist, and it is best to discuss those exceptions with an attorney prior to the commencement of any recording. It is imperative to speak with a sexual harassment attorney if you have questions about what can and cannot be used as evidence. It is not advisable to start recording video with your cellphone conspicuously or otherwise without speaking to an attorney first.
- Follow your company’s procedure
Most corporations have thorough procedures for handling sexual harassment claims. Follow the detailed process in the company policies and report the offense to designated superiors. If there is no assigned staff for receiving sexual harassment complaints, report the issue to your direct supervisor. If your supervisor is the offender, report him or her to their immediate superior or human resources.
- Administrative charge
If you are unable to settle your complaints through the company’s internal procedures, you will need to file an administrative charge with a civil rights enforcement agency. They are typically either the California Department of Employment and Housing (FEHA) or the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). The agencies will investigate your claim and will try to resolve it by talking to your employer. If the company cannot resolve your sexual harassment complaint, but it determines that the application is valid, then you will be issued a right to sue letter. You can also request a right to sue letter at the outset either by yourself or through your attorney. This is when you can file a lawsuit and bring the case to court.
Contact a San Jose Employment Law Attorney Today
If you are a victim of sexual harassment in the workplace, taking the steps above and calling an attorney will help you resolve your issues. Consider talking to a San Jose employment attorney familiar with sexual harassment claims to discuss the complaint. Contact the law office of Farling, Hecht & Davis by phone at 408-295-6100 or contact us online here to get a free consultation. We will help you get the justice you deserve.