Sexual harassment, unfortunately, remains a large problem in the United States. Even worse is the fact that many of these claims are not taken seriously or ignored altogether. If you’ve found yourself in this situation, then here’s how to handle an ignored sexual harassment claim.
The EEOC and You
An HR department could be all it takes to properly handle and pursue a sexual harassment claim, but that’s not always how things play out. Your manager, HR, and others in your company may completely brush off your experience.
This can feel very crushing and defeating, but it’s important to remember that a claim within your company isn’t the last course of action. If you’re ignored, then the next step is to file a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).
This federal government entity is responsible for civil rights, discrimination, and harassment violations in the workplace. Like any claim, you’ll give them all of the supporting evidence from emails and documented discussions to texts and digital images.
The EEOC allows for complains to be filed in-person or through the mail. Once your claim is processed, they’ll reach out to you on the phone and discuss the situation, ensure you understand the process that follows, and make a few suggestions with proceeding.
Other Employer Mistakes
Filing a formal complaint with the EEOC is an excellent first step, but there may be times when legal aid is also requires. Hiring a pro like this San Francisco sexual harassment attorney isn’t an uncommon part of a sexual harassment claim for most employees.
Failing to acknowledge your claim is an enormous mistake in itself, but it isn’t all that your employer can do wrong. They may take too long to investigate, “misplace” evidence, or work diligently to sweep this scenario under the rug.
They could also retaliate against you for making the claim, which is illegal in all 50 states. Denying you a promotion, cutting pay, reducing hours, changing your schedule, or giving you undesirable duties can all count as retaliation.
Your manager or the harasser may try to abuse you verbally, mentally, or emotionally once they find out you’ve made a claim. The company may fire you, as well. Make sure to document any retaliation measures taken against you.
If any of this happens, don’t despair. An attorney can help you piece together your claim and sue the company along with the managers in question, helping you get the compensation you deserve and restoring your job to what it should be.
Remember, you’re not alone in this. Countless workers across the nation have begun speaking out in record numbers, shining a light on the issues of sexual harassment and discrimination. Being ignored might make you feel hopeless, but you have legal avenues to pursue and your voice deserves to be heard.