Millions of individuals report being sexually harassed at work. It is a pervasive problem that is tied to the amount of unchecked power that many men and women have at the highest levels of companies. They believe that their domain over their employees extends to control over the physical bodies of those employees. This trend can be partially stopped through better information and training for those employees. But many people would also be helped by pressing their rights and legal cases a bit harder. Employment lawyers help to even out the playing field and make it much easier for individuals who have been sexually harassed to be protected.
Protect your rights
West Coast employment lawyers help individuals protect their rights while at work. The relationship between employer and employee is one of the most lopsided in America. Few individuals are protected by a union. In a large number of states, an individual can be fired for practically any reason. People do not have guaranteed systems of human resources (HR) that will protect them.
There is no guarantee that complaints will not be divulged to management. But even with this lack of protections, there are still a number of different ways that the law does protect employees. There are laws surrounding equal treatment in the workplace and banning unfair treatment because of membership in a protected class.
The other important reason to hire an West Coast employment lawyers is to receive just compensation for the actions committed against an individual. Sexual harassment is one of the most traumatic and humiliating events that many individuals can receive at work. People feel disgusted and violated by the actions and comments that constitute this behavior. It can sometimes last for months or many years.
These actions can cause individuals to stay up late at night and can harm their mental health. All of these effects can be offset by the potential compensation that an individual might receive from the lawsuit filed by an employment lawyer. Employment lawyers often secure considerable settlements from companies. They are able to do so because many companies do not want the bad press that come along with sexual harassment cases.
Companies often pay extra to ensure that they do not have to admit any wrongdoing. Even when companies do choose to go to court, sexual harassment cases are often clear. There are mounds of evidence and testimony can be secured from many individuals. Sexual harassers who are serial offenders often do little to cover their tracks. Some settlement figures can run into the millions of dollars.
Even in cases where a person does not receive a settlement, hiring a California employment attorney can still be an important step forward. Individuals with employment lawyers are a major reason why so many companies are taking proactive steps to control the prevalence of sexual harassment at their offices. A massive sexual harassment settlement can bankrupt a company. It gives even the most unscrupulous bosses a reason to take extra precautions to control harassment allegations and cases.
What to do
Anyone who wants to take action regarding a sexual harassment complaint needs to remain careful and vigilant. First, an individual should retain a lawyer. The lawyer will help guide their future actions and help them avoid any sort of pitfalls that may occur. In many instances, a lawyer will advise an individual to stop interacting if they can with the individual who has been harassing them. They may advise that a person start working through the normal HR procedures in a company. A lawyer may simply be a guiding hand that allows a person to solve their sexual harassment issues through the confines of a company system.
This procedure may not work for a number of reasons. HR may be slow and ineffective. A perpetrator may learn of the complaint and pursue avenues of retaliation. In some instances, a lawyer may advise against going through HR or turning over any evidence to the company in question. In that case, individuals need to start documenting the incident and all other incidents surrounding sexual harassment with the help of their lawyer. Individuals should collect evidence whenever possible and gauge the feelings of their coworkers. These men and women may end up becoming witnesses in any sort of disciplinary or legal proceedings.
Finally, an employment lawyer will confront an employer with the evidence of sexual harassment that they have gathered. The lawyers from both sides will often go into negotiations about a settlement. These negotiations are often fruitful and produce a number of different potential results. A person may receive a cash settlement. They may secure the removal of the offending employee and some sort of acknowledgement of wrongdoing. A company may also restore a person’s job if it took that job away at some point.
The settlement phase is where most companies and individuals want the case to end. It involves legally binding guarantees and does not allow for the potential revelations and years-long drama of the courtroom. But if settlement negotiations do not work, many employment lawyers are happy to go to court. In considerable cases, the lawsuit will go to a jury who will decide on fault and award damages. An individual may be compelled to testify by the court if they do not plead their Fifth Amendment rights. There is then an appeals process if one side is unhappy with the eventual verdict and the nature of the trial.
Anyone who has been sexually harassed in any way should seek out the help and advice of a California employment attorney. Not all cases will end in a legal victory and a large settlement. But it is always helpful to have a California employment attorney who will help an individual navigate the law and determine the merits of their case. Having an employment lawyer does not only make it easier for an individual to receive compensation for a horrific, humiliating act that has been perpetrated against them. It also gives an individual peace and protection knowing that someone is looking out for their interests.