Aside from questioning, trauma, and fear of nobody believing them, a large part of why so many sexual harassment victims don’t press charges is because they’re afraid of what might happen after. This fear of the unknown lets abusers and aggressors manipulate others and get away with their crimes. To help take some of that fear out of reporting, here’s what to expect after filing a sexual harassment claim.
Whomever you file a complaint with, it is their responsibility to take your claim seriously and contact the right people to get started on the investigation as quickly as possible. During the investigation, you should prepare for the investigator assigned to your case to ask questions about the incident. They’ll ask you about serious details such as what happened, when it happened, who the alleged aggressor is, and if there were any witnesses to the event. They also may ask you to recall the events in chronological order or why you may have waited to report them.
These questions are not to blame or hurt you in any way but rather to get a complete picture of what has occurred. It is also imperative to note that corrective action should happen immediately and is typically done in proportion to how severe the harassment was. The aggressor could receive a warning, demotion, reassignment, or even get fired. Regardless, corrective action must occur.
While this may come as a surprise, it is rare for the alleged aggressor to commit acts of retaliation against an employee who has filed a claim. This is because investigators and judges look at the timing between an employee engaging in a protected act (i.e., filing a claim) and retaliatory action. The closer the reprisal is in time to the protected activity, the easier it is to prove in court that the aggressor was acting in malice. If the alleged aggressor retaliated against you, it would make them look more guilty of the initial charge.
It is common for sexual harassment cases to get settled out of court for a few different reasons. Most companies, and many victims, don’t want the publicity that comes with a trial. Additionally, both parties often don’t want to deal with the time and cost of going through the process. It’s also impossible to predict the outcome of a court case, so many find it a safer bet to get monetary compensation by settling out of court.
Now that you know what to expect after filing a sexual harassment claim, contact the Law Firm of Tamara N Holder today so we can put you in contact with a sexual harassment attorney.