Q: Ive complained about nothing being done about sexual harassment and am now being treated poorly by supervisors
I work at a school and have had multiple comments made to me by students. I have reported it all to my supervisor, and her supervisor as well. The students had no consequences. The counselor came in a did a presentation for a few students talking about what sexual harassment is. I met with both supervisors to complain about the fact that there was no support for my claims and ever since doing that, my immediate supervisor has created an absolutely hostile and unprofessional work environment. I've gone to her supervisor for help, and she has been of no assistance to me. I've asked her advice on what to do and she didn't have any to give me. I've emailed my union rep and she said she would try to find out if there are any forms I can fill out to complain and I've heard nothing back. I can't do my job like this.
A: You can contact the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) or the Federal government's Equal Opportunity Employment Commission (EEOC) and file a claim for sexual harassment. Here's the link to the DFEH: https://www.dfeh.ca.gov/ and here's the link to the EEOC: https://www.eeoc.gov/ You can copy and paste either link into your browser and then look for the forms for filing a sexual harassment complaint. You can do that entirely on your own.
The next step will be to contact a lawyer or law firm which handles sexual harassment cases. There are many good lawyers in the San Francisco area who can help you.
You should also go to the human resources department and make a formal complaint of sexual harassment. Be prepared with a chronology of the events starting when the harassment began and bring it up to the present. Be sure to include all the witnesses in your chronology, both good and bad. You can use that chronology when you meet with your lawyer, because it will be a good roadmap of what happened. Also, assemble all the documents you have which support your claims and make extra copies of them to hand over to either the attorney or to the agency with which you file your complaint of sexual harassment.
A: Mr. Fazzi gives good advice but I have to disagree with the timing of the events he suggests. BEFORE you file anything with the DFEH, it would be wise to locate and consult with an employment law attorney. That attorney can then lead you through the proper steps of filing an administrative complaint with the DFEH, as well as assist you with the best way to document your complaint with the employer's HR.
So at this point locate and consult with an experienced employment law attorney as soon as possible to explore your facts and determine your options. I would suggest you look either on this site, or go to www.cela.org, the home page for the California Employment Lawyers Association, an organization whose members are dedicated to the representation of employees against their employers.
Most employment attorneys who practice this area of law offer a free or low cost consultation in the beginning and then, if the matter has merit and value, will usually agree to work on a contingency basis, meaning you can hire an attorney without paying any money until the matter results in a positive outcome for you. Many advance all the costs of the litigation as well. Do not let fear of fees and costs keep you from finding a good attorney.
Good luck to you.
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