In California, sexual harassment claims that occur in the workplace are divided into two categories: quid pro quo (meaning “something for something”) and hostile work environment. How do victims of sexual harassment file a claim? While sexual harassment can and should be reported to the HR department of the employer as wells as to the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing.
Sexual harassment allegations in the workplace are very serious. However, victims only have one year from the date of the harassment to file their claim. After that point, the legal right to file a claim ends. This is known as a statute of limitations.
Filing a Complaint for Sexual Harassment in the Workplace
After the sexual harassment is reported to Human Resources, victims can visit the website for the California Department of Fair Housing and Employment and file a form known as a Pre-Complaint Inquiry. The form can be completed online for free or it can be printed off and mailed in. The inquiry form requires the personal contact information of the victim, the name and address of the respondent (which can be the name of the business where the sexual harassment happened), the names of any co-respondents (such as a manager), the date the harassment first started, the last time the harassment occurred, and a checklist for victims to use to tell DFEH what happened, and a page for the victim to explain in more detail.
Victims have the right to ask for DFEH to investigate or to immediately issue a right to sue letter. If the victim receives a right to sue letter, they have an additional year to file their lawsuit in the California Superior Court.
Talk to a Lawyer Who Assists Victims of Sexual Harassment
In addition to suing your employer, you could choose to file a claim with the EEOC. However, before you sue your employer, there are some considerations that must be made. It is harder for victims to recover compensation for a sexual harassment incident if the perpetrator wasn’t a supervisor. An experienced Orange County labor and employment attorney helps victims of sexual harassment and can answer questions about whether you have a potential claim.
For a free, no obligation consultation about your potential workplace harassment claim, contact the top employment lawyers at Dennis Law Group today.