Frequently Asked Sexual Harassment Questions

If I am sexually harassed, what should I do?

You need to make it very clear that you do not welcome any sexual harassment. If you are made to feel intimidated, threatened, or frightened in the workplace, you should consult your employee handbook about what steps to take. If you do not have a handbook, tell your supervisor, or the human resources department of your employer. If your employer is the problem, consult with an attorney.

If I make a report, who should I report it to?

You should use the chain of command outlined in your employee handbook. If there is no employee handbook, tell your supervisor or the human resources department of your employer.

If I am harassed by my boss, shouldn’t I just quit my job?

As much as you may want to quit your job if you are harassed by your boss, you should take a deep breath and consider your options. If you quit, rather than going through the options that are provided by your employer, you may have difficulty re-establishing your employment rights.

What if I am harassed by a coworker?

If you are harassed by a co-worker, the first thing you should do is let him/her know that the conduct is unwelcome. If the conduct stops and is never repeated, that means you have been listened to. If the conduct continues, or if you feel you have been injured by the co-worker, consult your employee handbook about what to do. If you don’t have an employee handbook, tell your supervisor what has happened, and ask for help. Be sure to take notes about incidents of sexual harassment and steps you have taken to address them.

Is there a timeline for making a report?

Ordinarily, you should report sexual harassment as soon as it occurs. If you intend to pursue legal action, you should be aware that certain timelines apply, and you should be careful to observe those timelines. Before contacting a government agency, such as the EEOC, about sexual harassment, we suggest that you consult with an attorney. We will be glad to speak with you about your situation.

When do I need a lawyer in a case like this?

If you are considering taking legal action against your employer, you should consult with an attorney before taking any serious steps. You should not wait until you have a right to sue letter from EEOC before consulting a lawyer.

What if I am retaliated against after reporting sexual harassment?

Retaliation for reporting sexual harassment is considered sex discrimination under the law. If you believe your employer has retaliated against you for reporting sexual harassment, you should consult with an attorney. At Copeley Johnson & Groninger PLLC, we are here to answer your questions.

If I go to the EEOC, should I wait until they finish their investigation to get a lawyer?

No.

Will I have to pay for a consultation in a sexual harassment case?

Each case is different and whether or not you will need to pay for a consultation in a sexual harassment case will depend on the facts of your situation.

Will I have to pay to hire a lawyer to sue my employer?

We can investigate your case and give you an opinion about whether an institution such as an employer, school, day care, camp, church or medical practice may be liable for failing to detect the signs of sexual abuse and protecting the victim. If that happened, the negligent institution may be held accountable for the cost of its conduct.

Is there a government agency that helps victims of sexual harassment on the job?

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission is an agency of the federal government charged with enforcing federal non-discrimination laws. These laws apply to many, but not all, employers.

Attorneys Leto Copeley and Valerie Johnson (aka the “Law Sisters”) even have a podcast about Sexual Harassment in the workplace. Learn ways you can protect yourself from Sexual Harassment by listening to their podcast series, Sex at Work, available on the Law Sisters website, Apple Podcasts, Google Play, TuneIn, and Stitcher.

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