Trusted Legal Advocacy

What can the victim do against sexual harassment?

On Behalf of | Feb 12, 2024 | Sexual Harassment

There is no one response to sexual harassment at work. Victims could freeze up or become confrontational in the moment, making them appear more of an aggressor than the harasser. These reactions can affect the actual case later after reporting the incident. To ensure the complaint undergoes the appropriate process, victims can take various measures against the harassment regardless of how they responded when it happened.

Victims and employees can have various ways to address the sexual harassment incident based on its severity, including the following options:

  • Initiating the internal process – Most companies have a policy against workplace harassment and discrimination, including sexual misconduct. This option can be appropriate for most incidents, requiring adequate documentation about what happened and the involved parties.
  • Filing a complaint with a state or federal agency – The California Civil Rights Department (CRD) and Federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) can receive formal sexual harassment complaints and enforce penalties.
  • Call law enforcement for assistance – Incidents of sexual harassment can escalate, endangering victims and others. In these instances, calling the authorities can be a reasonable response to address any safety risks immediately.

Sometimes, a combination of these methods can be necessary if there are unique circumstances complicating the case. In any situation, victims should always prioritize their safety and seek urgent help if necessary.

Responding appropriately to address sexual harassment

Both victims and witnesses of sexual harassment can act against it. However, some details can impact the process, such as proper documentation or if too much time has passed since the incident. These factors can affect the facts related to the incident, potentially causing discrepancies during investigations. It can be helpful to take measures to record the incident’s details and report it immediately. These steps can be appropriate no matter how minor the incident was.