EEOC Charges for Sexual Harassment Claims
Once you have been traumatized by sexually harassing behaviors in the workplace, you need to learn where to turn for help. The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) pursues justice on behalf of victims of workplace discrimination, including sexual harassment. To file a lawsuit in federal court, you must file a charge with the EEOC first. In New York, your sexual harassment attorney can guide you through the claims process.
What the EEOC constitutes as sexual harassment
To learn if your specific situation meets EEOC criteria, speak with an attorney well-versed in New York and federal sexual harassment standards. In general, the following behaviors may constitute sexual harassment by the EEOC:
- Unwelcome sexual advances
- Requests for sexual favors
- Other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature that affects your employment, interferes with work performance or creates a hostile work environment
To be considered harassment, the unwelcome conduct generally must be ongoing and repeated. Or, a one-time incident may be considered harassment if the behavior was severe enough in nature.
What you may not know about sexual harassment: both the victim and the harasser can be either a man or a woman. Additionally, the victim and harasser can be of the same sex. You can be harassed by a supervisor, co-worker or supervisor of another department. If you’ve been victimized by a client or customer who is not employed by your employer, it may also be considered sexual harassment.
Furthermore, the harassment does not necessarily have to be sexual in nature. If you have been targeted simply because of your gender — such as being teased for being a woman — you may file a sexual harassment claim.
Employers can also be punished for retaliating against you for reporting sexual harassment, filing a discrimination charge, participating in an investigation or testifying in a sexual harassment lawsuit in New York City. By example, if you were fired for filing a harassment claim, this may be considered retaliation.
How to proceed with your EEOC charge
First, within your organization, let your harasser know the behavior is unwelcome and it must end. Follow all employee procedures for filing a grievance, such as reporting a claim to the Human Resources department. Speak with a lawyer and proceed with an EEOC charge.
Upon deciding to file a charge, you can do so in person at the nearest EEOC office or you can proceed by mail. You will be asked to provide your personal information and a description of the events which took place. You should provide dates and information about the company where the harassment occurred.
The EEOC notifies your employer or former employer, and all parties are invited to resolve the case through mediation. Your case could go a few different ways: the charges can be dismissed, an investigation could occur or the EEOC may issue a subpoena if your employer is uncooperative. If no violation of the law is found, you are given a Notice of Right to Sue and you can pursue your claim in a court of law. A lawyer can handle all of this for you and make sure that the procedure is handled properly. You should always opt for legal representation before filing with the EEOC. However, if you have already filed with the EEOC, you may still hire a lawyer afterwards.
Put a New York sexual harassment attorney to work for you
The Derek Smith Law Group is devoted to righting the wrongs done to sexual harassment victims in and around New York City. Don’t try to go it alone — we are here to help, and walk you through this difficult time. Contact us today to learn more about our services.