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Tips for your sexual harassment complaint

When you are being sexually harassed at work, no matter how small or how big the scope of the problem, documenting the harassment is important. This is true even if you think you might end up doing nothing about it. The more information you have, the more open you keep your options.

Now, supposing you do make a complaint about sexual harassment according to your office's protocols, follow a few tips.

Identify all acts

It is often embarrassing to be sexually harassed. Many women and men who suffer harassment put only the more minor forms of the behavior in their complaints because, for example, they do not want to admit that the harasser repeatedly groped certain body parts. However, it is important that your complaint has everything, even acts that may have happened relatively long ago.

Refrain from passing judgment such as, "It did not bother me when Chris made suggestive comments about my body, but when Chris started to touch me on the buttocks, it began to bother me." It is better to say something like, "Chris began to make suggestive comments about my body and a month later, started touching me on the buttocks." Similarly, do not say things like, "I rationalized the suggestive comments as Chris's way of being friendly." Do not try to excuse, rationalize or downplay anything.

Specify what you may have done and what you want your employer to do

If you already undertook some actions in hopes of stopping the harassment, what were they? Remember to include this information in your complaint. Also, include what it is you would like your company to do. A lawyer can be of special help with this part because if you write something such as, "I just want the harassment to stop. I am still willing to work with Chris," the lawyer can help you think about other issues, such as the possibility that Chris has harassed other people or that it might look odd that you would not want Chris to be fired.

Keep a copy of your complaint, and make sure you submit a written version. An oral complaint alone may not go far.

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Law Offices of Allan A. Sigel, P.C.

Law Offices of Allan A. Sigel, P.C.
1125 Gayley Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90024

Toll Free: 800-651-0702
Phone: 310-597-4786
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