I’m Being Harassed At Work. What Should I Do?

April 2, 2019

The effects of discrimination and harassment in the workplace can take a severe emotional and financial toll on those who have been subjected to it. It is a horrible feeling having to go into an environment in which you are subjected to harassment on a daily basis. Fortunately, the law has put in place many protections for employees who are being harassed in the workplace.

The purpose of this blog is to provide employees who are being harassed an outline of what steps to take to get the harassment to stop. The goal is to get the situation resolved as quickly as possible so that the employee can return to performing their job in the best way possible.

File an Internal Complaint

Filing an internal complaint is the most effective way to ensure some sort of change takes place. The complaint should be addressed to your direct supervisor or the human resources department. Further, you should make sure the harasser knows that you want the harassing behavior to stop. Once you have put both the harasser and your supervisor on notice, they have a duty to take substantive action in making the harassment stop.

If harasser continues, you should seek to keep a detailed record of the harassing behavior. The detailed record could be useful down the line if this problem develops into a more serious one.

File a Charge with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission

If filing an internal complaint does not work and your employer fails to take any actions to solve the problem, then you should consider filing a charge with the equal employment opportunity commission (EEOC).

The EEOC is the U.S. Government agency that is responsible for making sure that federal anti-discrimination and anti-harassment laws are being enforced. If an employee is being discriminated against or harassed in the workplace, then they should consider filing a complaint with the EEOC. For the most part, an employee has 180 days from the day of the incident to file a claim.

If an employee files a complaint with the EEOC, the EEOC will begin an independent investigation. The EEOC will likely contact your employer or co-workers or co-workers to ensure a thorough investigation. Further, EEOC officers may make site visits to the employees workplace and conduct witness interviews.

An EEOC investigation can be a lengthy process depending on the complexity of the respective case. Once the investigation is completed, if the EEOC determines that there is reasonable cause to believe that the employee is being subjected to  harassment and/or discrimination in the workplace, they will provide the employee with a right to sue notice. At this point, the employee is legally permitted to pursue a lawsuit against their employer and seek damages for discrimination or harassment.

Initiate a Lawsuit

It is important to note that you must file a charge with the EEOC, prior to initiating a lawsuit. Initiating a lawsuit is a big step that should be given thoughtful consideration. If you are looking to do so, you should consult with an attorney prior to doing so.

If an you feel like you are being subjected to any form of harassment or discrimination on the basis of their race, gender, color, religion, sex(including pregnancy), ethnicity, age or disability in the workplace then they should consult with an attorney who is experienced in labor law immediately. The laws governing harassment and discrimination are complex. There are strict regulations governing the process for filing a lawsuit. Furthermore, there are strict time restrictions, known as statute of limitations, as to when a lawsuit can be filed. The experienced attorneys at Shegerian Conniff are ready to hold your employer accountable, fight for your legal rights, and seek justice.  Click here to contact us today or call us at 310-322-7500 for a free consultation.