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Process for filing sexual harassment complaint in California

There many things that annoy people while at work. It could be an over bearing boss or a co-worker who bothers one throughout the day. It could also be certain policies that the employee does not like. However, there are some things that go beyond simply being annoying. Sometimes certain actions fall into the category of harassment. One type of harassment that is very common is sexual harassment.

There are many different types of behavior that could be considered sexual harassment and all forms are unacceptable. The victim should first inform supervisors and file complaints within the company, but sometimes these efforts do not fix the problem and the person may need to file a complaint with the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing.

The first thing that a victim must know is that the complaint must be filed with them within one year of the incident. If the behavior occurred more than a year prior, the victim may lose their ability to file the complaint. After it is filed, then within 60 days an investigator will contact the victim and get the facts. Based on that information the investigator will determine whether to open an investigation. If they do that they will then contact the employer for an answer to the complaint.

The investigator will eventually determine whether there was a violation of the law. If there is not, the case is closed, but if there is a violation then the parties must attend a mediation to try and reach a resolution. If they are unable to do so, the complaint is sent to the legal department to file it in court.

Unfortunately there is still many victims of sexual harassment at work across California. The victims of this harassment may be entitled to compensation though. Initially they must file a complaint and an investigation must be completed. However, once that is done, the victim can take the case to court to hold the employer responsible for their actions. These are very complicated, fact-specific matters though and experienced attorneys may be a useful resource.

Source: www.dfeh.ca.gov, "Complaint process" accessed on Jan. 23, 2018

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