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Handling workplace sexual harassment

Unfortunately, many California employees suffer from workplace sexual harassment, and they may not know how to address the problem. Because of the uncertainty, victims sometimes make mistakes that can later limit their ability to successfully sue. There are several steps that should be taken in the face of sexual harassment in order to protect the person's rights.

People who are victims of sexual harassment should gather all pertinent emails and other documents that document the harassing behavior. They should then file a complaint with the company according to its stated policy that will normally appear in the employee manual. In many cases, people are afraid to give the names of coworkers who witnessed the problematic behavior, worrying about how they will be perceived for complaining. Victims should still provide the names of witnesses, however. They should also keep a running log of dates and times of all harassing behavior in case it is later needed.

After filing a complaint with the company, people should wait for the investigation to proceed and not just quit. If the company does nothing about the sexual harassment complaint, the person may then want to file a lawsuit. After filing a lawsuit, the person may then want to seek new employment elsewhere rather than enduring the treatment at the workplace while the lawsuit is pending.

No worker should have to endure offensive sexual comments or other similar forms of harassment. This type of discriminatory behavior can leave victims trying to work in a hostile environment. People should not wait to complain, as it may only worsen if they do. If a complaint filed with the employer is not handled appropriately, victims may want to consult with an employment law attorney to determine the remedies that may be available.

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Carlin & Buchsbaum, LLP

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