If you have experienced workplace sexual harassment, Levin Simes can help file a lawsuit.

How Do I Report Sexual Harassment at Work?

By Levin Simes
November 13, 2023
Reporting sexual harassment at work is an important step in protecting your rights. An experienced sexual harassment attorney can help guide you through the legal process. 

When sexual harassment occurs in the workplace, you may be unsure of what to do next and afraid of risking your job by beginning the legal process. It is important to be aware of your rights and of the process involved in reporting a workplace sexual harassment incident. 

Sexual assault cases of any kind require the highest level of care and compassion. Our knowledgeable attorneys are committed to handling your matter with diligence to make sure the parties responsible for your injury are held accountable. Contact Levin Simes online or by calling our offices at (415) 426-3000. Continue reading to learn more about workplace sexual harassment and the legal options available to you. 

What Kind of Damages Are Available in a Workplace Sexual Harassment Case?

Workplace sexual harassment includes any unwanted sexual and physical conduct and may include: unwanted physical touching, verbal threats, derogatory comments, discriminating or exclusionary behavior, and other forms of offensive sexual behaviors. 

In a workplace sexual harassment case, the damages available to you can vary depending on the specific circumstances, applicable laws, and the case outcome. Financial compensation can include: 

  • Compensatory damages: These damages cover tangible losses, such as lost wages, medical expenses, and other out-of-pocket costs incurred due to the harassment.
  • Back pay and lost wages: In cases where the victim has suffered economic losses, they may be entitled to back pay (wages and benefits lost due to the harassment) and front pay (future wages and benefits that would have been earned if not for the harassment).
  • Punitive damages: In some cases, if the harassment is particularly egregious and the employer's actions are considered willful or malicious, punitive damages may be awarded. The purpose of punitive damages is to punish the wrongdoer and deter others from engaging in similar behavior.
  • Reinstatement or job restoration: If the victim was wrongfully terminated or suffered adverse employment actions as a result of the harassment, the court may order the employer to reinstate the victim to their former position or provide an equivalent job.
  • Emotional distress damages: Victims of sexual harassment may be awarded damages for the emotional distress they have experienced as a result of the harassment, including anxiety, depression, and other psychological injuries.

If you believe you have been a victim of workplace sexual harassment, consult with an attorney experienced in employment law to understand your rights and options. The availability and calculation of damages in a workplace sexual harassment case can vary by jurisdiction and the specific facts of the case. Laws related to sexual harassment may also change over time, so it is crucial to stay informed about the legal landscape in your area.

When Should I Report Workplace Sexual Harassment?

Sexual harassment experienced in the workplace can be a devastating and frightening experience. You may feel powerless and unsure of what to do next. If you experience workplace sexual harassment, you may be hesitant to report it out of fear for your job. 

Still, it is important to report sexual harassment as soon as possible. Reporting promptly can help address the issue, protect your rights, and prevent further harassment. Remember that laws and reporting procedures may vary depending on your location and the size and type of your employer. 

An experienced sexual harassment attorney may even be able to help you file your complaint at work. Contact the team at Levin Simes online or by calling (415) 426-3000. Our team is standing by to make sure that you receive the justice you are entitled to under the law. 

How to Report Sexual Harassment at Work

Reporting sexual harassment at work is an important step to address the issue and protect your rights.

  • Seek medical attention if necessary: Sexual harassment can have a significant impact on your mental and physical well-being. Prioritize your health and safety by seeking medical attention from a doctor or healthcare provider after sexual misconduct. 
  • Seek support: If you're uncomfortable handling the situation alone, you can seek support from coworkers, friends, or family. They can provide emotional support and potentially act as witnesses to the harassment. 
  • Contact human resources: If you are uncomfortable reporting to your supervisor or if the harassment involves your supervisor, contact your company's HR department. Request a private meeting to discuss the issue and express your concerns.
  • Know your rights: Familiarize yourself with your legal rights and protections against workplace harassment, which may vary depending on your location and the applicable laws. Consult with an attorney if necessary.
  • Consult with an experienced sexual assault attorney: If you are unsure about when and how to report the harassment, or if your concerns are not adequately addressed within your organization, consider consulting with an attorney experienced in harassment and employment law. They can provide guidance on your specific situation.

Follow your company's specific policies and consult with legal professionals if necessary. Reporting sexual harassment not only helps you seek resolution but also contributes to creating a safe and respectful workplace for all employees.

Who Do You Report Sexual Harassment to at Work?

Reporting sexual harassment at work typically involves contacting specific individuals or departments within your organization. The exact reporting structure may vary depending on your company's policies and procedures, but here are some common options for reporting sexual harassment at work:

When you report sexual harassment, provide as much detail as possible, including the nature of the harassment, the individuals involved, dates, times, and any evidence or witnesses. Keep records of all your interactions related to the complaint. If your company does not adequately address the harassment, or if you face retaliation for reporting, you may need to consider external options. 

You may want to file a complaint with a government agency like the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) in the United States or seek legal counsel. You may also want to seek support from sexual harassment and sexual misconduct networks like the Workplace Harassment Ends Now (WHEN) or the Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network (RAINN)

These organizations have compiled resources that can assist those who have experienced workplace sexual harassment to receive the care and support they need. Your rights and protections against sexual harassment may vary depending on your location and applicable laws, so it's advisable to consult with an attorney even when working with such organizations.

Contact an Experienced Sexual Harassment Attorney 

Hiring an attorney to handle your sexual harassment case is one of the most important steps in the legal process. Our team is responsible for hundreds of victories and millions of dollars in jury awards and settlements for our clients. Contact the team at Levin Simes online or by calling (415) 426-3000. We are standing by to handle your workplace sexual harassment lawsuit with care and compassion.

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