Andrew Campbell

5080 W. Bristol Rd,
Suite 4 Flint
MI 48507

Call For Free Consultation

Steps To Take If You Have A Sexual Harassment Claim

It is very important to make sure you have a game plan and you follow that plan if you have a sexual harassment claim.

First, assuming you have hostile work environment claim you have a limited period of time to file a claim with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. In Michigan you have 365 days from the date of the adverse action to file a charge with the EEOC or Michigan Department of Civil Rights unless your company contract limits that time period.

Because your company can shorten that time limitation, it cannot be stressed enough to find and review your contract and the employer’s handbook to see if a limitation is imposed. The employee handbook should have a section or chapter devoted to discrimination issues.

Second, follow that policy and report any sexual harassment to the appropriate parties as indicated in the policy. It is important that you put this complaint in writing to be able to prove that you gave notice at a later point in time.

Be sure to describe all relevant facts in the complaint. Describe the unwelcome conduct and explain how you communicated to the wrongdoer that it was unwelcome and how it made you feel. That gives the employer an opportunity to investigate, to lessen the harm caused and to take appropriate action.

Under federal law, you don’t have to necessarily tell the employer. If it’s a supervisor doing the harassment, the employer is vicariously liable. That means they are liable for the acts of their employees, especially supervisors because they should know better than to sexually harass an employee.

Be sure to send it to the designated employee(s) indicated in the handbook via certified mail return receipt so you have proof of receipt. Check with the post office if you do not know how to do this.

For a hostile work environment claim you have 365 days after the adverse action took place. An adverse action could be

1) being discharged from employment (actual or constructive discharge),

2) being demoted, or

3) being given a bad performance review.

If the harassment does not stop or you believe that your employer has not properly addressed the issue with the wrongdoer or if there is any kind of retaliation then you should consider filing a claim with the appropriate department.

Keep in mind that the EEOC can only accept claims that involve a company with 15 or more employees. If your company has less than 15 employees but at least one employee then you can file a claim with the Michigan Department of Civil Rights.

To bring a claim you must exhaust your administrative remedies. This means you must first file a charge with the EEOC or Michigan Department of Civil Rights or both. That process must first be filed. If the claim cannot be mediated then eventually the EEOC will provide a Right to Sue letter where the employee has 90 days to file a lawsuit.

Make sure you do your best to find other employment and keep proof of those attempts made. It is vital to show that you have attempted to lessen the damage to yourself.

Eighty-five percent of all cases filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission are resolved, either through mediation or conciliation. Mediation is a voluntary process where an EEOC appointment mediator attempts to resolve the claim privately.

Conciliation is where the complaint goes through the EEOC’s investigative process. The EEOC investigates it and tries to get the employer to adopt procedures that comply with federal law; then they try, if they can, to get a monetary resolution for the employee.

Who Do You Represent In Sexual Harassment Cases?

I exclusively represent employees.

What is The Employer’s Responsibility To An Employee Once They’ve Been Notified Of Sexual Harassment?

The employer has to demonstrate that they instituted an adequate investigation and took prompt and appropriate remedial action when they receive notice of a hostile work environment type of claim. This means that they have to try to fix the problem and take action that’s reasonable to address the harassment.

Some examples of this would be if they counsel the person who harassed the victim, if they send letters emphasizing the company’s policy against such behavior and the seriousness of the allegations. They may also threaten the harasser with discipline, if future allegations are corroborated, or demote or fire the harasser, which doesn’t occur a lot.

I recommend that any employee that has filed a sexual harassment complaint with their employer be aware that retaliation might occur. Be sure to keep notes and records of any action that could be considered to constitute retaliation.

For more information on Nature Of Sexual Harassment Claims, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling [number type=”1″] today.