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What to Know About Suing for Workplace Harassment

Woman Yelling at Man

If you feel that you have been the target of harassment or discrimination in the workplace, you should contact an employment lawyer sooner, rather than later. Employment law establishes specific procedures for filing complaints. Your employment lawyer will help you preserve your employee rights at your job in San Jose, CA.

Workplace Harassment

Providing Notice

Before taking action under California labor law, your employment law attorney will likely advise you to provide notice of the unacceptable practices at your workplace. If you decide to file a lawsuit later, your lawyer will need to prove that the behavior in question was not welcome. You can protect your right to seek damages by advising the harasser that his or her behavior is unwelcome or that you find it offensive. It may be best to do so in writing; however, if you have a verbal conversation, be sure to make a written record of it. If you are concerned for your safety, you may wish to avoid giving notice to the harasser and instead file a complaint with the human resources department. Keep a copy of the complaint. If you intend on filing a lawsuit against the company, your employment law attorney may need to prove that the company knew about the problem, but failed to take appropriate corrective actions.

Filing an Administrative Charge

If the harassing or discriminatory behavior does not stop, consider talking to your employment law attorney about filing an administrative charge with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). Filing a lawsuit before filing an administrative charge may result in the dismissal of your lawsuit. The EEOC or your state agency will notify your employer of the charge and may decide to conduct an investigation. If the EEOC declines to file a lawsuit on your behalf, it will furnish you with a “right to sue” letter.

Filing a Discrimination Lawsuit

Let your attorney know as soon as you receive the right to sue letter. Once you have this document, you do indeed have the right to file a lawsuit. Your attorney will determine the most appropriate defendants to name, such as your harasser or the company, and will represent you in court if the case goes to trial.