If you’ve filed a report with your employer in response to sexual harassment at your workplace and either the harassment does not stop, or you are retaliated against for making your complaint, you may have the right to file a claim for compensation.
In addition to protecting you from the underlying harassment, the law also prohibits your employer from retaliating against you because of the report you filed.
At Domb & Rauchwerger, our California sexual harassment attorneys understand how difficult it can be to speak out against unfair and dehumanizing treatment in the workplace, particularly if your employer does not take your complaint seriously or retaliates against you for making your complaint, which is why we’re here to represent you.
We’ll explain what your rights are after reporting sexual harassment and fight for the justice you deserve.
Your Legal Rights After Workplace Sexual Harassment
The California Fair Employment and Housing Act and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 offer you specific rights regarding sexual harassment in the workplace. These laws allow you to sue an employer who permits sexual harassment in the workplace or retaliates against you for filing a complaint.
For a free legal consultation, call 213-537-9225
When do I Have the Right to Sue My Employer for Sexual Harassment?
The above-mentioned laws make it illegal for a coworker to sexually harass you and for your employer to allow sexual harassment to occur when they’ve been made aware of it. Under these laws, you have the right to sue a coworker who has been harassing you and take action against your employer.
If your employer has ignored your reports of sexual harassment and failed to take measures to stop sexually harassing behavior, you may have grounds for a claim against them. An attorney can assess your situation and determine if you have grounds to take legal action against your employer.
One factor your lawyer will weigh when deciding if you have a case is whether the treatment you experienced is recognized as sexual harassment by the law.
Forms of Sexual Harassment Recognized by the Law
If you’re wondering what your rights are after filing a sexual harassment report, it can be helpful to learn whether or not the treatment you experienced is seen as sexual harassment by the law. The law protects California workers from the two following types of sexual harassment:
- Quid pro quo: This type of sexual harassment occurs when you are offered a benefit at your job on the indirect or direct condition that you will agree to some type of sexual conduct. The job benefit may include, but isn’t limited to, a pay increase, promotion, or a positive performance review.
- Hostile work environment: This type of workplace sexual harassment refers to any conduct based on sex that is unwelcome and serious or prevalent enough to create an abusive workplace and negatively impact the conditions of your employment.
Once you’ve familiarized yourself with these forms of sexual harassment, you might still have difficulty determining whether you’ve experienced such treatment. Luckily, an attorney can meet with you to discuss your situation, determine if you’ve been sexually harassed, and help you understand your right to report sexual harassment.
How Long do I Have to File a Sexual Harassment Lawsuit?
If you’re taking legal action in response to sexual harassment, you’ll have to abide by the statute of limitations that applies to your case. Before you file a suit, you’ll have to submit an administrative complaint with the California Civil Rights Department (CRD) or the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) within a certain period of time.
If you’re submitting a complaint with the CRD, you’ll have three years from the most recent incident of sexually harassing behavior to do so. If you’re filing a claim with the EEOC, you’ll have 180 days since the last incident.
If Domb & Rauchwerger decides to take your case on, we will file the administrative complaint for you and request an immediate right to sue letter so that we can proceed with your claim in Court.
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When do I Have the Right to Sue My Employer for Retaliation?
If you filed a sexual harassment report with your employer and they took adverse action against you because of it, you may have the right to sue them for retaliating against you.
Retaliation occurs when an employer takes adverse action against you for participating in a protected activity, like requesting a reasonable disability accommodation, taking protected medical leave, or, in your case, reporting sexual harassment.
An adverse action is an action that has a negative impact on the terms, privileges, or conditions of your employment. Examples of such actions include, but aren’t limited to, the following:
- Terminating your employment
- Lowering your pay
- Issuing a poor performance review
- Failing to promote you
If your employer has taken one of the above-listed adverse actions against you, it doesn’t automatically mean that you can sue them. You’ll have to hire an attorney who can show that the adverse action was directly motivated by the sexual harassment report you filed. Only when a lawyer has connected the two factors will you be able to pursue remedies.
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Remedies You Can Receive from a Sexual Harassment Claim
Whether your employer has ignored your sexual harassment claim and failed to take measures to prevent further harassment, retaliated against you for filing a report, or both, you could be facing life-altering financial losses and emotional struggles.
Fortunately, a sexual harassment attorney can file a strong claim on your behalf and fight for the remedies you deserve. If your claim is successful, you could receive several or more of the following forms of compensation:
- Lost wages and out-of-pocket expenses incurred due to termination
- Emotional distress
- Punitive damages, if appropriate
Schedule a Free Consultation With a Trusted Sexual Harassment Attorney
Attorneys Zack Domb & Devin Rauchwerger were once partners at one of the largest employment defense firms in the country. There, they represented Fortune 500 employers in discrimination, retaliation, and sexual harassment claims. Domb & Rauchwerger knows how your employer’s legal team operates and can take effective legal action against them.
Contact us today to schedule a free consultation and get the experienced representation you need to file a winning claim against your employer. An attorney from our firm will meet with you to discuss your situation, explain what rights you have after reporting sexual harassment, and answer any questions you have about the legal process.