Maximize The Likelihood Of Success In Your Sexual Harassment Case By Not Making These Mistakes
If you are the victim of sexual harassment at your job, you deserve to receive compensation for the financial and emotional toll the illegal actions have taken on you and your career. In order to achieve this goal, you need to build a strong case against your employer. One of your first steps should be to hire an experienced employment discrimination attorney who can investigate your situation and gather the evidence you need to prove your rights under the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) and federal civil rights laws were violated. You can also increase the chances that you will receive a fair settlement by avoiding the pitfalls that sexual harassment victims have fallen into in the past.
Important Mistakes You Do Not Want to Make in Your Sexual Harassment Case
You can learn from other sexual harassment victims who unintentionally made errors in their cases that reduced the amounts of their claims. If you want your case to be as strong as possible, avoid doing the following:
- Failing to confront the harasser. In order to have a claim of sexual harassment, you have to prove that the advances were unwanted. In order to be certain that the harasser knows this, you want to tell him to stop the unwanted behaviors. This might actually solve the problem. If you do not say anything to the harasser, you may be unable to prove this important element of your case.
- Failing to document your claims. You need evidence to prove your claim. If you do not save written records of the details of the harassment and any written memos, letters, and emails you sent to the harasser or your employer, you are losing an important part of your proof of the illegal sexual harassment.
- Failing to report the harassment. If you fail to report the sexual harassment to your employer early enough, you are giving your employer a defense to your claim called the avoidable consequence defense. Using this defense, your employer would claim that you caused your own injuries by delaying reporting the harassment. Avoid this mistake by making your complaint to your boss or supervisor soon after the harassment begins and following up on any oral complaint by sending written confirmation of your conversation.
- Failing to follow up. Once you make a complaint to your employer, your employer is obligated to remedy the situation. You would hurt your case if you did not let your employer know that the harassment continued. In addition, if remedial actions are not taken by your employer, you do not want to stop there. You need to consult with an attorney and pursue your legal options.
- Failing to get mental health care. Often the emotional trauma of being the victim of sexual harassment can be a big part of the ordeal. You could suffer anxiety, depression, traumatic stress, difficulty sleeping, problems with your memory, and much more. You may be fearful at work and less productive. Failing to get the mental health help you need can leave you unnecessarily suffering and give your employer an argument that you did not do enough to reduce your damages. In addition, you will have a harder time proving the emotional stress you suffered if you do not have records of seeking needed mental health treatment.
- Failing to file a complaint on time. Both the FEHA and federal civil rights laws have strict deadlines—or statutes of limitations—for filing an administrative complaint. If you fail to do so within this time period, you cannot file a lawsuit for compensation against your employer. You must file your complaint under FEHA within one year of the last act of discrimination.
- Failing to hire an experienced attorney. Sexual harassment cases can be difficult to prove. You will make your attorney’s job even more difficult if you fail to retain him right away once you realize your rights could be violated.
What Happens If You Made One of These Mistakes?
If you made one of these mistakes or another one, do not make the situation worse by deciding you have no chance to win your case and doing nothing. Corbett Williams has helped many victims of discrimination who have made these or worse errors that potentially hurt their claim. Call our firm today at 949-679-9909 to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation to learn how Mr. Williams can help you.