The Answer Is “Yes” for Two Reasons
Especially for those who feel threatened in the workplace as a result of sexual harassment, their first instinct will be to sue those responsible. This instinct is valid, and a suit will be carried out under the right grounds, but it’s important to know there is a procedure governing the timeline of most of these cases. Your attorney will know exactly what to do first, so getting them involved as soon as possible is recommended.
The Proper Channels Need to Confirm the Validity of Your Report
First, before filing a complaint, the employee must file a claim with the State of California Department of Fair Employment & Housing under the California Fair Employment Housing Act (FEHA), or Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) under Title XII of the Federal Civil Right Act.
If the employee wishes to pursue the matter privately, he or she will receive a “Right to Sue”. The employee has a year from the Right to Sue to pursue the matter in court or in an arbitration. By going to a California attorney experienced in employment law, the paper work will be handled by the attorney.
Under Most Circumstances, Reporting First Gives You a Higher Chance of Success
Second, under California law, the company or the employer is not liable for its actions unless the employee reported the sexual harassment or discrimination to the company or unless the harasser was a manager. Even then, the company will not be liable for punitive damages unless the harasser was an officer of the company or an officer of the company was informed of the harassment by the employee and failed the employer to take appropriate action.