Toni Jaramilla, A Professional Law Corporation - Los Angeles Employment Attorney Toni Jaramilla, A Professional Law Corporation - Los Angeles Employment Attorney
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Reporting harassment is important: Don't be afraid to act

You want to make a complaint about a coworker who has been sexually harassing you, but you're scared. If you make a complaint, will they know that it was you who did it? Will you be retaliated against? Are you going to have to stand up for yourself or be forced to "work it out" with the coworker and human resources department?

These are all good questions, and you do deserve answers to them. As someone who is struggling with sexual harassment in the workplace, your rights have already been violated. Now, you deserve to be protected.

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 protects you

This act makes it illegal for you to be harassed by anyone at work. It also requires employers to stop harassment when it occurs. Retaliation is illegal.

Did you know that reporting sexual harassment means that your employer cannot ignore you or the situation?

If you report an incident and HR or your employer knows that you've been harassed, then they have to take prompt action to stop the behaviors that you're uncomfortable with. They need to investigate the harassment and then take steps to guarantee that you won't have to deal with it again.

The law requires your employer to take action that will actually make the harassment stop. They can't just tell someone that you complained and to stop bothering you. HR or your employer are not allowed to make you a target.

You have the right to work in a discrimination- and harassment-free environment. You should not have to worry about sexual harassment from coworkers, employers, customers or others. If you do speak up and are retaliated against, then you would want to look into making a legal claim.

Keep in mind that filing your inital report with HR or your boss is important. This begins a paper trail that shows that you tried to resolve the situation. It's a good idea to report the situation in an email or by letter, so you can have a copy. After reporting harassment internally, you may be able to take external legal action if nothing is done to stop the behavior you're dealing with.

You can ask your employer who will find out if you file a complaint. The harasser will know that they're being investigated, but you may be able to keep yourself from being recognized as the person who made the claim in some instances. Your employer should be able to tell you who will find out, if anyone, that it was you who made the report.

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