Although California workplace sexual harassment victims may feel powerless to stop the behavior from taking place, there are many options at their disposal. In some cases, informal workplace changes may solve the problem. However, if changes fail to put a stop to the abuse, a victim may be able to file a lawsuit to hold a harasser responsible for his or her actions.
Before any action can take place, a victim must be willing to speak up on his or her behalf. Often, a person engaging in harassment doesn't realize that his or her actions are offensive. Generally, putting that person on notice will stop the behavior out of concern for a colleague's well-being or to eliminate the chances of further tension at work. If that doesn't work, the next step is to review the employer's sexual harassment policy.
This will outline what steps must be taken to resolve the problem and what recourse may be available. While an individual may report harassment to a supervisor, it may be reported to anyone within the company whom the victim feels comfortable talking to. Final steps may include filing a complaint with the EEOC or the applicable state agency, which will investigate and attempt to resolve the matter. If that is not possible, it may issue a right to sue letter allowing the victim to pursue litigation.
Victims of workplace sexual harassment may wish to consult with a employment law attorney regarding their legal options. If a lawsuit is successful, an individual may be entitled to back pay or reinstatement if the event that the claimant was terminated in an act of retaliation for pursuing the allegations.