On behalf of California Employment Counsel, APC on Monday, July 8, 2019.

You have the right to a safe work environment, and this does not only mean avoiding accidents and injuries. If you feel unsafe because your employer or a coworker is harassing you, it can be very difficult to do your job or even to show up for work. Sexual harassment is against both California and federal laws, and your harasser could face serious penalties if you bring the situation to light.

Unfortunately, many in your position are unsure of how to proceed to get the harassment to stop. Even if you do take those steps, there is no guarantee that your employer will take you seriously, and you may even fear retaliation on the job. Nevertheless, with the right assistance, you may be able to attain your goals of going to work in peace and obtaining justice for your suffering.

Drafting a complaint

Sexual harassment can range from offensive talk or emails to physical assault. Any unwelcome, inappropriate or persistent behavior of a sexual nature can fall under the heading of sexual harassment. For your own sake and the sake of others in the workplace, you may feel compelled to report the problem. Hopefully, your employer has a procedure for this, but the most common first step is to draft a written complaint.

Reporting the harassment verbally is not always effective, especially if you are nervous or traumatized by the situation. Your complaint should go to human resources and your supervisor unless your supervisor is the one harassing you. If you have been keeping a log of the times and manner in which the harassment occurred, you should include this information in your complaint. Supplying HR with names of potential witnesses, dates, times and descriptions of the behavior can help with the investigation.

What happens now?

Your HR representative and your employer should take this matter very seriously since there is so much at stake. The best-case scenario is that they conduct a full investigation and discipline your harasser, perhaps including terminating his or her employment. However, you cannot always expect this happy ending.

This is why, before you take any of these steps, you would be smart to consult a sexual harassment lawyer in Orange County. Your attorney can assist you in organizing the details of your complaint and following up with your employers if they fail to handle the matter satisfactorily. A skilled attorney will also guide you in any legal steps for seeking justice.