Sexual Harassment Case Timeline
How Does a Sexual Harassment Case Progress?
Now more than ever, in the #MeToo movement, women are recognizing how important it is to report sexual harassment in the workplace.
As opposed to a car accident victim, sexual harassment victims are often much more pressured to not file a suit because of threats against their job, social status, and even their life. Because of this, sexual harassment has been allowed to run rampant in the American workplace for years.
If you or someone you know has been sexually harassed at work, use our timeline and tips to help you navigate what will be a very difficult process.
Document Your Harassment
- Once you start experiencing sexual harassment, keep written documentation of every time your boss touches you inappropriately or says anything inappropriate. This will help you later on in the process.
Check Your Employers Sexual Harassment Policy
- Check your employee handbook, which should state sexual harassment is not tolerated in the workplace and should be reported to the supervisor immediately.
- If your abuser is the supervisor, the next logical step will be to speak to an assistant manager.
- If your assistant manager properly follows through with protocol, you may not have to find an attorney after all. However, this always isn’t the case.
Prepare for Backlash
- If the assistant manager doesn’t follow through or, even worse, is compliant in your boss’s sexual harassment, prepare for the worst. You may lose your job for “performance issues” or some other bogus reason. Now, it’s time to find an attorney.
Don't Waste Any Time Finding an Attorney
- Find a South Carolina sexual harassment attorney and tell them what’s happened. The sexual harassment attorney will help you file an administrative charge with the Charleston EEOC office, who goes into investigating the claim.
- While waiting for the EEOC to investigate, your attorney will advise you not to go near your old workplace or your former boss. In the meantime, the EEOC investigation will determine if you can bring your case to court.
EEOC Determines Claim is Invalid
- If the EEOC finds there was no wrongdoing on the part of the restaurant, do not give up. A finding of no reasonable cause does not mean there is no recourse. You can still bring an action.
EEOC Determines Claim is Valid
- The EEOC will conduct an investigation of their own. If they find your boss guilty of wrongdoing, they will go about resolving the issue themselves or will issue a “right to sue” letter — meaning you can take the case to court.
- In the case of bigger corporations, they may want to settle out of court with the stipulation of a confidentiality agreement — especially if the offender is in a high-profile position.
- While this may be the easy thing to do to stop your suffering, the confidentiality agreement will allow the offender’s actions to go unnoticed and potentially continue.
- This is one of the hardest decisions a defendant can make. A good attorney who’s been in these situations can help guide you to the right decision on a settlement.
Off to Court We Go
- Your attorney’s team may go out to find other employees who have been sexually harassed by your boss in hopes they can corroborate your story and strengthen the case.
- A judge and jury will hear evidence and testimony from you (plaintiff) and your boss (defendant). They will take all evidence into account before deciding a verdict.
If the Jury says Guilty…
- The jury will decide on the proper damages to give you and the court will enter a final judgment.
The boss can appeal the decision to a higher court if he is not satisfied with the result.
If the Jury says Not Guilty...
- You receive no compensation.
Why You Need an Experienced Attorney
We at the David Aylor Law Offices cannot stress enough how hard it is to be a victim of sexual harassment. Often times these victims are shamed and bullied into less than satisfying resolutions to their cases.
Litigation puts a tremendous burden on the plaintiff, so don’t go into a sexual harassment case without an attorney who’s handled these tough situations before.
David Aylor and his team have more than a decade of experience helping Charleston sexual harassment victims navigate through the difficult case process. Call his office today at 843-744-4444 for a free consultation on your case.