i want to file a lawsuit but dont know how what do i do

i was sexually harassed at work and it became a hostile work environment so i had to quit i went through the steps to report it but nothing was done i dont know what to do now

3 answers  |  asked Sep 25, 2012 4:51 PM [EST]  |  applies to California

Answers (3)

Janet M. Koehn
You need to contact an attorney experienced in employment law and litigation, and in particular in harassment. You can find an attorney in your area at the website of the California Employment Lawyers Association, www.cela.org. In particular, consult with an attorney before you attempt any self-help. you'll be glad you did.

posted by Janet M. Koehn  |  Sep 28, 2012 4:46 PM [EST]
Marilynn Mika Spencer
I don't know what happened to my paragraphs! Let me try again..........................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................** No attorney-client relationship is created based on this communication. Please consult with an experienced employment attorney as soon as possible to better preserve your rights.**.........................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................The following comments are for information only and must not be taken as legal advice. The Spencer Law Firm has not analyzed the details of your potential claim. The Spencer Law Firm cannot and does not give legal advice based on contacts from web sites or e-mail, or based on partial information. The Spencer Law Firm will not take any action on your behalf unless you and The Spencer Law Firm sign a legal services agreement..........................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................The best thing you can do is speak with one or more experienced employment law attorneys and choose one as your attorney in the case. Your allegations are, of course, extremely serious and they should be treated with the importance they deserve..........................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................Before contacting the attorneys, it may help you to understand a bit about the law of harassment and the law of discrimination. .........................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................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..........................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................Many people misunderstand the meaning of employment discrimination. “Discrimination” does not mean an employer has to be fair, respectful or has to make good decisions. Workplace discrimination means the employer treats one person or group differently from others who are not in the same group, but are similarly situated. .........................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................The only workplace discrimination that is illegal is discrimination that is against public policy. Public policy refers only to things that are specifically prohibited by a statute (law) enacted by the legislature, or prohibited by a regulation promulgated (established) by a government agency. Under federal law, public policy includes statutes prohibiting discrimination against people in specific protected groups, which include sex, race, national origin, disability, age (40 years and older), religion, marital status, pregnancy and genetic information. Sexual harassment is considered a form of sex discrimination. There is no federal protection for sexual orientation discrimination, but many states provide this protection..........................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................Public policy also protects people who blow the whistle on a matter of public concern, complain about improper wage and hour practices, and a few more rights protected by statute. .........................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................An employer cannot refuse to hire, refuse to promote, change terms of employment or fire an employee if the reason for the change is against the law (against public policy). For example, an employer cannot increase your workload because of your race, sex, national origin, religion, etc. or because you blew the whistle on safety violations.........................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................There are various ways to enforce these rights, depending on the particular public policy involved. For more information on employment discrimination, please see my Avvo guide on this subject: http://www.avvo.com/legal-guides/ugc/what-is-unlawful-employment-discrimination--federal-law?published=true .........................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................All legal actions have time limits, called statutes of limitation. If you miss the deadline for filing your claim, you will lose the opportunity to pursue your case. Deadlines can be as short as just a few days. For referrals, you may contact the Lawyer Referral Service of the San Diego County Bar Association at (619) 231-8585, or the county bar association for your county. Also, you can find lists of plaintiffs employment attorneys at , , and ..........................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................Marilynn Mika Spencer is licensed to practice law before all of the state and federal courts in California. She can also represent clients throughout the country in courts on a pro hac vice basis and before federal administrative agencies.

posted by Marilynn Mika Spencer  |  Sep 25, 2012 5:52 PM [EST]
Marilynn Mika Spencer
** No attorney-client relationship is created based on this communication. Please consult with an experienced employment attorney as soon as possible to better preserve your rights.**The following comments are for information only and must not be taken as legal advice. The Spencer Law Firm has not analyzed the details of your potential claim. The Spencer Law Firm cannot and does not give legal advice based on contacts from web sites or e-mail, or based on partial information. The Spencer Law Firm will not take any action on your behalf unless you and The Spencer Law Firm sign a legal services agreement.The best thing you can do is speak with one or more experienced employment law attorneys and choose one as your attorney in the case. Your allegations are, of course, extremely serious and they should be treated with the importance they deserve.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, and you can search for attorneys by location and practice area. Before contacting the attorneys, it may help you to understand a bit about the law of harassment and the law of discrimination. 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.Employment discrimination is against the public policy of California and the United States. Many people misunderstand the meaning of employment discrimination. “Discrimination” does not mean an employer has to be fair, respectful or has to make good decisions. Workplace discrimination means the employer treats one person or group differently from others who are not in the same group, but are similarly situated. The only workplace discrimination that is illegal is discrimination that is against public policy. Public policy refers only to things that are specifically prohibited by a statute (law) enacted by the legislature, or prohibited by a regulation promulgated (established) by a government agency. Public policy includes statutes prohibiting discrimination against people in specific protected groups, which include sex, race, national origin, disability, sexual orientation, age (40 years and older), religion, marital status, pregnancy and genetic information. Sexual harassment is considered a form of sex discrimination.Public policy also protects people who blow the whistle on a matter of public concern, complain about improper wage and hour practices, or who exercise voting rights, family leave rights, jury duty rights, domestic violence rights, and a few more rights protected by statute. An employer cannot refuse to hire, refuse to promote, change terms of employment or fire an employee if the reason for the change is against the law (against public policy). For example, an employer cannot increase your workload because of your race, sex, national origin, religion, etc. or because you blew the whistle on safety violationsThere are various ways to enforce these rights, depending on the particular public policy involved. For more information on discrimination law, please see my Avvo guide on this subject: http://www.avvo.com/legal-guides/ugc/what-is-unlawful-employment-discrimination--california-law. I hope you can resolve your situation and wish you the best. ____________________________________________Marilynn Mika SpencerThe Spencer Law Firm2727 Camino del Rio South, Suite 140San Diego, CA 92108(619) 233-1313 telephone // (619) 296-1313 facsimilemspencer@spencerlawoffice.com All legal actions have time limits, called statutes of limitation. If you miss the deadline for filing your claim, you will lose the opportunity to pursue your case. Deadlines can be as short as just a few days. For referrals, you may contact the Lawyer Referral Service of the San Diego County Bar Association at (619) 231-8585, or the county bar association for your county. Also, you can find lists of plaintiffs employment attorneys at , , and .Marilynn Mika Spencer is licensed to practice law before all of the state and federal courts in California. She can also represent clients throughout the country in courts on a pro hac vice basis and before federal administrative agencies.

posted by Marilynn Mika Spencer  |  Sep 25, 2012 5:47 PM [EST]

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