What to Do if Your Employer Ignores Your Harassment Claim
Harassment in the workplace is a serious issue that not only impacts your mental and emotional well-being but also disrupts your professional life. California law requires employers to take prompt and effective action against harassment complaints. However, if you find that your employer is ignoring your harassment claim, you may be wondering what steps you can take to protect your rights. Read on to learn about the early stages of pursuing a harassment claim. If you’ve been subjected to a hostile work environment or other illegal harassment in your Southern California workplace, contact Ochoa & Calderón for practical advice and guidance through the process of obtaining justice and compensation for the harm done to you.
Document the Incident Thoroughly
Before you escalate the situation, ensure that you have thoroughly documented the incidents of harassment. Keep a record of dates, times, locations, and the individuals involved. Gathering evidence like emails, text messages, or witness statements can help strengthen your case. This is crucial when it comes to taking legal action under Riverside, California employment law.
Consult HR Again
If your initial complaint to Human Resources (HR) went unheeded, consider approaching them once more. This time, it may be helpful to put your concerns in writing, ensuring that you keep a copy for your records. A written follow-up highlights the seriousness of your claim and sets a documented timeline, which may prompt swifter action.
Familiarize Yourself with California Employment Law
Not all harassment in the workplace is necessarily unlawful, so it’s important to understand your legal rights and know what is and isn’t illegal. California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) prohibits harassment based on various protected categories, including such as race, gender, age, sexual orientation, and many more. Before pursuing your case too far, it’s helpful to review the law and ensure the harassment you are experiencing is prohibited conduct under the law. You shouldn’t be forced to put up with any harassment, but when the conduct violates the law, such as sexual harassment, you are in a stronger position to do something about it.
Seek Legal Advice
When internal remedies fail to yield results, consulting an employment law attorney becomes critical. In Riverside and Southern California, Ochoa & Calderón offers free legal consultations to help you understand your next course of action. Our team can review your case, advise you on the best way to proceed, and potentially file a lawsuit on your behalf if required.
File an Official Complaint with Government Agencies
If your harassment claim is covered under an applicable antidiscrimination law, you have the option to file a formal complaint with California’s Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) or the Federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). These agencies can investigate your complaint and may even mediate between you and your employer. If attempts to resolve the issue fail, the agency might initiate legal action or issue you a “right to sue” letter, enabling you to pursue the matter on your own with the help of a lawyer.
Prepare for Legal Action
If all else fails, taking your employer to court may be appropriate. Employment law cases can be intricate, requiring a comprehensive understanding of state and federal laws. A dedicated employment law attorney from Ochoa & Calderón can help you gather evidence, file the necessary legal documents, and represent you in court.
If you are experiencing harassment at work based on sex, race, religion, or other protected characteristics, Ochoa & Calderón is here to help. Call our office in Riverside at 951-901-4444 or throughout Southern California at 844-401-0750 for a free consultation to discuss your claim and next steps.