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Retaliation claims require serious and prompt action

Some employees who are victims of sexual harassment don't say anything about the harassment because they are concerned about retaliation. It is important for all employees to know that retaliation based on filing complaints of sexual harassment isn't something that is allowed.

When you file a complaint about sexual harassment and your employer takes adverse, or retaliatory, action after that, you can take action about the retaliation. You will have to show that your employer knew that you filed the sexual harassment complaint. You will also have to show that the retaliation wasn't because of actions you did, besides the sexual harassment complaint.

There is a chance that an employer will try to say that the adverse action wasn't based on your sexual harassment complaint. In that case, it is vital that you understand how to answer to those allegations. You might find that this is difficult, so working with someone familiar with retaliation claims is vital.

Proving retaliation claims can often lead to various remedies. You might be eligible for reinstatement, hiring, promotions, back pay, front pay, punitive damages and other actions. In some cases, you might also be able to get court costs, attorney fees and fees for expert witnesses paid.

There are strict time limits in California for filing complaints of this manner. If your claim is based on a federal law, you have 300 days from the date of the incident. If your claim is based on state law, you have one year to file a claim. Make sure that keep these time limits in mind as you decide how to handle your retaliation claims.

Source: Workplace Fairness, "Retaliation for a Discrimination Claim," Paul H. Tobias and Susan Sauter, accessed June 11, 2015

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