Is that too late to report the sexual harassment after I got retaliation termination which caused from other complaint?

Asked almost 2 years ago - Los Angeles, CA

In the begining of that job, the ex-boss did the severe verbal abuse on me . Many times, he even did some behavior or talk that has potential sexual hint in side to me, such as judge my body. The worst thing was that he hitted my bottom once in his office. I was too shocked and even had no any reaction for that. For his verbal abuse and sexual harassment, I didn't show strong reaction and kept peaceful silence since the culture and personality. I was shamed of that sexual harassment part. So I only reported the HR for the verbal abuse, they confirmed that. But I still got termination last week.
Now, is that too late if I report the sexual harassment to EEOC after I was fired? I don't trust HR any more. Is that sexual harassment even I didn't reject harshly at that occasion immediately.

Attorney answers (4)

  1. Amir Mostafavi

    Contributor Level 8

    3

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . You absolutely can, and if fact you should. Sexual Harassment at workplace is unlawful and actionable under federal and state laws. You did not specify why you were discharged. Was it in retaliation of the complain you made to the HR for verbal abuse of your supervisor or had any other basis? What happened to the harasser? Was he let go after you made the complain about him? There are so much of analysis that need to be done requiring additional facts. I suggest you contact an employment attorney in your area before the statute of limitation for filing charges for sexual harassment with DFEH/EEOC run out.

    Amir Mostafavi, Esq. Law Offices of Amir Mostafavi 11500 W Olympic Blvd., Suite 400 Los Angeles, CA 90064... more
  2. Marilynn Mika Spencer

    Contributor Level 20

    3

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Unlawful harassment is a form of discrimination. To be unlawful, the harassment must be must be based on a protected category, such as race, sex, religion, disability, age (40 and over), pregnancy, or genetic information. Harassment can include verbal conduct, slurs, derogatory comments, comments or questions about a person's body, appearance, religious, or sexual activity, or indication of stereotyping. Harassment can also include offensive gestures, sexually suggestive eye contact or looks, mimicking the employee in an insulting way, and derogatory or graphic posters, cartoons or drawings.

    Harassment is unlawful when the conduct is either severe or pervasive enough to create an abusive environment. Severe conduct would include most physical contact and many types of threatening, vulgar or degrading conduct. Pervasive conduct is widespread, happens frequently and/or in many situations. One offensive statement is not pervasive, but the same comment made over and over again may be pervasive.

    If the harassment took place within the last year, you are still timely to file a charge with the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH), which is the state agency that fills the same role as the federal EEOC. If the termination took place within the last year, you are still timely to file a charge with the DFEH. You have 300 days to file a charge with the EEOC. Please look at my guide to unlawful discrimination: http://www.avvo.com/pages/show?category_id=6&pe... which should help you understand lawful and unlawful discrimination, how to enforce your rights, and time limits.

    Employment law is complicated and fact-specific. You may wish to consult with an experienced plaintiffs employment lawyer. To find a plaintiffs employment attorney in California, please go to the web site of the California Employment Lawyers Association (CELA). CELA is the largest and most influential bar association in the state for attorneys who represent working people. The web site is www.cela.org. Click on "Find a CELA Member" and you can search by location and practice area.

    I hope you can resolve your situation and wish you the best.

    *** All legal actions have time limits, called statutes of limitation. If you miss the deadline for filing your... more
  3. Pamela Octavia Pitt

    Contributor Level 14

    3

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . It is not too late to report the sexual harassment to the EEOC or the DFEH. You also need to report gender discrimination if you were discriminated against because of your gender. What you report to the EEOC or the DFEH is very important. The Department of Fair Employment and Housing is the state counterpart to the federal EEOC. You should go see an attorney to find out what other possible causes of action you may have. You need to report all possible causes of action to the EEOC or the DFEH in order to file a lawsuit on that particular cause of action. For instance, if it turns out you were discriminated against on the basis of race and do not say that in your filing with the DFEH or EEOC, then you cannot file a lawsuit alleging racial discrimination. In your case you may very well also have a cause of action for retaliation.
    I prefer filing with the DFEH over the EEOC because you have a longer statute of limitations after you are issued what is called a right to sue letter. You may want to talk to an attorney in your area to see if there is any reason the attorney may prefer the EEOC or DFEH.
    You do not say when you were terminated, but there is a time limit for when you can file for the DFEH or EEOC. You need to contact an attorney who specializes in employee rights. You can find someone in your area by looking on the website of the California Employment Lawyers Association. www.CELA.org.
    Pamela Pitt
    LAW OFFICE OF PAMELA PITT
    22 Battery Street, Suite 1000
    San Francisco, CA 94111
    www.pamelapitt.com
    415 291-9251

  4. Neil Pedersen

    Contributor Level 20

    3

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . In California, your failure to report the sexual harassment does not bar a claim for sexual harassment as long as the time to file the administrative complaint has not yet run. Outside of California, your failure to report could be a basis for barring a claim against the employer. However, in California, your failure to report may affect the amount of damages you would be entitled to receive against the employer. State or federal, you can sue the individual harasser whether or not you reported the harassment.

    Good luck to you.

    This answer should not be construed to create any attorney-client relationship. Such a relationship can be formed... more

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