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- Ways to Handle Sexual Harassment
Every individual handles sexual harassment differently. The following article explains the options for sexual harassment victims, as well as the laws that protect them. If you have been sexually harassed at work, you can also complete the free case review form to have your claim evaluated by a sexual harassment attorney.
Reporting Sexual Harassment to the EEOC
If you have experienced sexual harassment at work, you can file a charge with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. You can file the charge through the mail, on the telephone or in person at your local EEOC office. If you do not have an EEOC office in your area, dial 1-800-669-4000 for assistance.
Strict timelines apply when filing a charge with the EEOC, so it’s advisable to take action as soon as possible. In addition, to pursue a private lawsuit, you must first file a claim with the EEOC.
Sexual Harassment Lawsuits
After filing a charge with the EEOC, you have the option of filing a private lawsuit. Sexual harassment lawsuits attempt to recover damages related to lost wages or jobs. Sexually harassed employees may also be eligible to collect for emotional distress. In certain cases, the victim can recover punitive damages, which are awarded as a punishment to the defendant. When a sexual harassment claim is filed, the employer may feel intense pressure to resolve the matter quickly and prevent future instances of harassing behavior. For instance, in a case against Mitsubishi Motors, the company agreed to a $34 million settlement, which awarded $300,000 to each of the 350 sexually harassed women at its Illinois Plant in 1998.
State Laws Regarding Sexual Harassment
Each state has its own rules and regulations regarding sexual harassment. Although state sexual harassment laws are typically modeled on federal regulations, state-specific laws extend protection to employees of smaller companies. Each state law contains different remedies and damages allowed in a successful sexual harassment lawsuit. Some states can award workers’ compensation benefits to sexual harassment victims, while others allow monetary damages. Many also allow punitive damages, which attempt to punish the defendant for their actions.
Many cities and counties also have specific laws regarding sexual harassment. In many cases, local ordinances allow generous remedies and damages for sexual harassment victims.
Filing a Discrimination Charge
Employees who are discriminated against are entitled to a remedy that will place them in the position they would have been if the discrimination never occurred. Successful discrimination cases allow employees to be rehired, promoted or reinstated. Others may award back pay, attorney’s fees and emotional damages to the employee. If the employer’s actions were reckless or intentional, the sexual harassment victim may also be able to collect punitive damages.
If you have been sexually harassed at work, a sexual harassment attorney can explain these remedies in greater detail. He or she can also ensure the proper steps are taken to protect your rights. To receive a free case evaluation from a sexual harassment attorney, fill out the case review form on the right.