Here is a scenario for you to consider. You go to work every day and perform your duties as required despite ongoing sexual harassment on the part of a superior. You have told him or her that you are not interested and asked that the behaviors cease. Unfortunately, the harassment continues. Should you file a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) at this stage?
You could go ahead and report to the EEOC but taking a few more steps could improve your chances of finding a satisfactory remedy. In our North Carolina employment law practice, we have seen many sexual harassment victims fail in their efforts to seek a solution through the EEOC. It is not because the EEOC does not care about your suffering. In most cases, it is because you have not exhausted your resources in resolving the matter.
Bringing a well-documented report before the EEOC may prompt the Commission to take action faster than it would in cases with little proof. We would like to suggest taking the following steps before reporting to the EEOC.
- Engage an employment law attorney to help you gather evidence and to preserve your rights
- Create a log or a journal detailing the offending behaviors
- Report the offensive behavior to the proper workplace authorities (e.g. the human resource department)
- Save copies of your reports to the proper workplace authorities
- Print any written evidence that supports your claim such as offensive emails or texts
- Seek out any witnesses that can corroborate your sexual harassment claim
Your employment law attorney can provide you with additional recommendations about building a strong report. In the meantime, you can learn more by continuing to review the information on our website.