If you’ve experienced harassment at work, you should seek legal help to protect your rights. A professional lawyer can educate you on your rights and how to stop unwelcome conduct. He or she can help you file a claim and explain your legal options. UC Berkeley provides legal counseling on sexual harassment. To learn more, read our article on how to file a harassment claim. It also outlines the steps you need to take to document the harassment and get compensation for lost wages.
UC Berkeley offers legal counseling on sexual harassment
UC Berkeley Law supports victims of sexual harassment and discrimination and provides a variety of services to those who are impacted by harassment. Students, faculty, and staff can access one of three legal counseling options available on campus. These services are not mutually exclusive and can be used in tandem. Confidential resources are available to explain the legal process and your options. Counselors are not required to report complaints to the Office of Public Health and Diversity (OPHD).
In 2015, a lawsuit filed by former UC Berkeley dean Sujit Choudhry claimed that he mistreated a former assistant, Tyann Sorrell, in a sexually inappropriate manner. The employee sued the school and university, and won, seeking damages for sexual harassment. But he’s not the only UC-Berkeley employee facing sexual harassment claims. Last year, a number of other UC employees faced sexual harassment allegations.
Steps to filing a claim
If you believe you are a victim of sexual harassment, you can file a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). The EEOC is a federal agency that investigates discrimination cases and can pursue a lawsuit against a company if necessary. You must file a claim with the EEOC, however, before bringing a lawsuit against your employer in court. A complaint filed with the EEOC must be substantiated by proof.
If you suspect that you have been the victim of sexual harassment, take note of your supervisor’s actions. Although it may seem difficult to prove retaliation, it is often illegal. Examples of retaliation include termination, poor work assignments, and negative performance evaluations. The claim must be filed within one year of the harassment. Once filed, you should retain all evidence related to the harassment. If the employer doesn’t follow the law, you can file a lawsuit for compensation and your job back.
You can start documenting your harassment by taking notes about the event. Include specific details, including who was involved, when and where it occurred, and the effect it had on your work or your general well-being. Another way to strengthen your case is to keep a journal and document each incident. This way, you can recall each detail clearly, and the documentation will be helpful to your case. Documentation will also help you collect evidence that shows that you were harassed by your employer.
Documentation is vital to proving your claim for legal help. Once you know what has happened, you can take it to the next level of court. In addition to talking to your employer, you can talk to a coworker or union representative about your case. Your coworkers may be sympathetic and supportive, and they can also act as witnesses and allies. You may also wish to seek help from community organizations, such as your union. If you feel in immediate danger, call 9-1-1.
Compensation for lost wages
A sexual harassment claim may include a component involving lost wages. The injured employee can claim lost income and benefits, such as medical and retirement benefits, as a result of the harassment. The judge will also consider punitive damages if the employer was negligent. Depending on the circumstances, the victim may be able to claim the difference between their old and new wage levels. It is important to keep these issues in mind when determining the amount of compensation you are entitled to.
A successful sexual harassment case may include back pay for missed wages and benefits. The amount of back pay can include any lost wages due to retaliation or forced resignation. It may also include lost compensation from medical insurance premiums you’d have paid out-of-pocket after being terminated or demoted. Another consideration in the calculation of lost wages due to sexual harassment is how long it took you to find another job, as a sexual harassment claim may not be rehired as quickly as you would like.
Retaliation against survivors
The fear of retaliation against survivors of sexual harassment and assault can make victims reluctant to file complaints. It can result in a reduction in pay, a change in job duties, and worse physical and mental health. Retaliation may be the only outcome a victim of sexual harassment or assault receives after filing a grievance. The following are common examples of retaliation against sexual harassment and assault survivors.
One way to address retaliation is to adopt a dispute-resolution system based on mediation. Unlike an ombuds office or formal grievance procedure, mediators hear and inform the victims. Often, the parties try to find a mutually agreeable solution, and the victim can be protected by the mediator. Some employers choose to hire professional mediators while others choose to train employees to mediate. Although the process is less formal than a legal grievance, the outcome of retaliation is much more likely for women.