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How do you prove sexual harassment in the workplace in California?

Sexual harassment at work is very unpleasant and can severely impact the victim’s productivity and mental health. Most often, victims of sexual harassment face the dilemma of reporting their ordeal or staying mum and continuing to endure unwanted advances. Unfortunately, this emboldens the offender and increases the severity or frequency of the conduct.

So what amounts to sexual harassment in the workplace?

Before lodging a formal complaint, it is important to start off by understanding what amounts to sexual harassment. Basically, sexual harassment entails all kinds of unwanted behaviors or actions that are of sexual nature. These include making sexual utterances, seeking sexual favors or sharing sexually-charged content.

Types of evidence you need to present when filing a sexual harassment suit in California

You need to provide evidence when filing a sexual harassment complaint. Examples of evidence that can be useful when filing a sexual harassment suit in California include:

  1. Documented accounts of specific incidents of sexual harassment
  2. Copies of sexually explicit texts, emails, voicemails and other memos
  3. Copies of medical records such as visits to the psychologist as a result of sexual harassment
  4. Any communications with your employer regarding your claims of sexual harassment

Filing a sexual harassment claim

Once you have put together evidence of sexual harassment, you need to go ahead and file a formal complaint. First, you should file the complaint with the appropriate person within the workplace. Your employer will then be obliged to investigate your claims and take appropriate measures to root out the vice from the organization.

Should the employer fail to address your complaint or offer protection from further harassment, you need to take your case to the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) or the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). Both agencies will investigate your claim and either assert a claim against the employer on your behalf or issue you with a “Right to Sue Letter.”

Sexual harassment in the workplace can severely affect the victim. Unfortunately, proving your claim can be a daunting task, especially if you do not have concrete evidence. Talking with an experienced sexual harassment lawyer can help you put together the right pieces of evidence and get the justice you deserve.