Brooklyn, NY asked in Sexual Harassment for New York

Q: Is it possible to file an anonymous sexual harassment claim?

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2 Lawyer Answers
V. Jonas Urba
V. Jonas Urba
PREMIUM
Answered
  • Tarrytown, NY
  • Licensed in New York

A: Have you reported it to human resources? You should do so. They will try to keep it confidential and everyone they interview should be told that any person who is interviewed and discusses an investigation could have disciplinary action taken against them for discussing the investigation with anyone else.

You, of course, will be told the same thing. You may want to provide witness names if you have them and you will want HR to take your complaint seriously because you are making a credible complaint. HR needs to determine what facts you have and whether what you experienced was severe or pervasive. If it was they will want to act and may make suggestions regardless of the outcome.

Finally, how could HR even get back to you to report on final action taken if you do not disclose who you are? Good luck. Filing an internal complaint is not the same as filing a lawsuit. And many lawsuits are avoided when HR or the investigative body takes proper action.

Michael Diederich Jr.
Michael Diederich Jr.
Answered
  • Stony Point, NY
  • Licensed in New York

A: HR represents management, not you. I tend not to trust HR Departments. Under one set of facts I would agree with what Mr. Urba wrote below. However, your particular facts may warrant an anonymous complaint, which you could do using an attorney as your agent, where the attorney would not disclose your identity (if that is otherwise possible, as may be the case when many women work under the same male supervisor). Reprisal, although unlawful, is often reality, and so I understand why you may wish to file anonymously. Best to find an employment lawyer to advise you.

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