Are Sexual Harassment Complaints Confidential?

Suppose you were the victim of workplace sexual harassment. In that case, you might be wary of filing a formal complaint within the company for privacy reasons. Confidentiality is a crucial concern when it comes to complaints of sexual harassment. You may worry about the repercussions of making a formal complaint, including suffering further hostility from the original offender, co-workers, or even your supervisor. However, the law protects you from retaliation for lodging a complaint about sexual harassment or participating in a related investigation.

In most companies, confidentiality in sexual harassment complaints is supposed to be strictly kept. Even still, unfortunately, it can’t be 100 percent guaranteed. When you file a workplace sexual harassment complaint, an investigation into your claim will be performed by the appropriate staff, which may unintentionally compromise your confidentiality. For example, the sexual harassment offender might need to be interviewed, and potentially other witnesses.

To Whom Should You Report California Workplace Sexual Harassment?

First, discuss the matter and your concerns with a proper staff member who can advise you on the policies and procedures on which your organization relies in these situations and answer any questions you might have. It’s imperative that the offender completely understands that you don’t welcome their behavior with clear and prompt action on your part. It also informs your employer that the situation exists so that it can be corrected organizationally.

Are EEOC Complaints Kept Confidential?

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is the federal agency responsible for enforcing federal discrimination laws. By law, any harassment or discrimination complaints filed with the EEOC must be made within 300 days of the harassment incident. The commission keeps information confidential. However, to open a formal investigation, the name of the person filing the charge must be given to the employer, as well as the specific details of the sexual harassment allegations. The EEOC is required to provide this information within ten days of the date the complaint was filed. While the EEOC may share information with the parties involved, any information about the charges will never be shared with the public.

The EEOC must have the complaining person’s name on it, and they must be willing to sign it. The EEOC then tells the employer about the complaint so that the employer might answer the charges. If someone really wants to stay anonymous, they may have the option to have charges filed on their behalf by another party. The third party must put their name on the complaint, and the employer will be provided with their information. Even still, if an investigation is conducted in this way, it still may be tricky to remain anonymous because of the circumstances of the complaint.

Get Help From a California Sexual Harassment Attorney Today

If you have a valid sexual harassment complaint on your hands but are afraid to say anything for fear of retaliation or harm, it’s time to contact an experienced California sexual harassment attorney today. They can help you remain as confidential as possible and ensure your rights are protected should someone try to retaliate against you.

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