Workplace sexual harassment in the State of California includes any conduct that is sexual in nature and directed toward an employee, such as unwelcome sexual advances. In some instances, the unwanted sexual conduct may be of a physical nature, while at other times, it might be verbal or visual. Workplace sexual harassment can also include conduct and actions that lead to an offensive, hostile, or intimidating workplace.
Workplace sexual harassment is improper because it is in violation of both the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) as well as Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
If you believe that you were a victim of sexual harassment in the workplace, it is important that you have a knowledgeable legal team representing you throughout your legal matter. An experienced California workplace sexual harassment attorney in your area could help you determine if you have a case, and if so, could take the necessary legal action on your behalf.
Right to Sue Letters
Federal laws pertaining to sexual harassment in the workplace are enforced by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, otherwise known as the EEOC. A person who believes that he or she is a victim of sexual harassment in the workplace could file a discrimination charge with the EEOC if they file their case under federal law. Under EEOC policies, you are required to file a claim or report before you are eligible to file a lawsuit against your employer for workplace sexual harassment or discrimination.
Once you file a claim, the EEOC will investigate your situation. Once it does so, it will provide you with a right to sue letter, formally known as a ‘notice of right to sue.’ This letter/notice gives you the permission that you need to file a lawsuit against your employer in the court system. In some instances, you might want to bring your lawsuit before the EEOC concludes its investigation. If that is the case, you could request that the EEOC office investigating your allegations issue you a right to sue letter.
Likewise, if you believe that you are a victim of sexual harassment in your workplace, you could fill out an intake form provided by the Department of Fair Employment and Housing, otherwise known as DFEH, if you’re filing under state law. A department representative will then interview you and decide whether or not the DFEH is going to investigate your claim. As an alternative to taking part in this investigation process, you could retain legal counsel and file a lawsuit against your employer after receiving a right to sue letter from the DFEH.
If you believe that you have been sexually harassed at your workplace and are interested in filing a complaint, an experienced California sexual harassment attorney in your area could explain all of your legal options to you and help you decide on the best course of action for your case. In some instances, this might mean settling your case, while at other times, it might mean filing a lawsuit in the court system and resolving any and all disputed issues in that venue.