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Reporting or suing for sexual harassment in the workplace

For California workers who have had to deal with sexual harassment in the workplace, deciding how to proceed with complaints about the harassment can be difficult. Most of our readers know that you have the right to take a stand against sexual harassment. There are two ways that employees can do this: reporting harassment to the company or filing a lawsuit. There are marked differences between these two that are important.

In most cases, reporting the sexual harassment to the company is the first thing you should do. Many companies will immediately investigate the claims and take appropriate action to remedy the situation. There is a chance, however, that the company won't do anything. That might mean you need to move to the next step -- filing a lawsuit.

When the sexual harassment that occurs is at the hand of a supervisor, such as quid pro quo harassment that we discussed last week, filing a report might not do any good. If that is what you are going through, you might have to take legal action to put a stop to the harassment and get the situation resolved.

Taking legal action against an employer isn't always easy. It is vital that you understand your rights as you go through the process. You also have to make sure that you know your responsibilities. We understand that all of this can be emotionally taxing. We want to help you learn your options and help you as you move through whichever process you opt to go through. You don't have to accept being sexually harassed at work.

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