When it comes to workplace issues like discrimination and harassment, may people think that they can immediately file a lawsuit against their employer. However, there are steps that need to be taken before a lawsuit can be filed.
While there is a small chance that these steps will improve your situation, or stop the discrimination or harassment, in the event that you are not taken seriously and you wish to follow through with a lawsuit, these steps will play a key role in proving your case.
1. Approach the offender. While this may be difficult, it is important to ensure that they are aware of what they are doing. In most cases, they probably already know that what they are doing is wrong, but there may be a chance that the offender thinks that they are being funny. Not only will this confrontation let them know that you want the behavior to stop, but you are taking it very seriously. If the behavior continues, be sure to document it.
2. File a complaint. If the behavior continues, it is critical that you follow your company’s policy on filing a discrimination or harassment complaint. Once you file an official complaint, the company will perform an investigation and hopefully find a resolution to the problem. In the event that your company fails to improve your situation, you will have a better chance of proving your case.
3. File an Administrative Charge. Before you may file a lawsuit, you must file an administrative charge with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). The EEOC will do one of the following: investigate, dismiss your charge, request that you and your employer settle the dispute, or take another form of action. In order for you to file a lawsuit, you must receive a right to sue letter from the EEOC.
Once you have received the right to sue letter from the EEOC, it is best to consult with your employment attorney to determine if it is in your best interest to file a lawsuit.
If you would like more information on filing a discrimination or harassment lawsuit, contact Maduff & Maduff today.