Employees deserve a safe, fair workplace. Federal law (Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964) and state law (Connecticut Fair Employment Practices Act) protect workers against job-related sexual harassment. If you were subject to sexual harassment while on the job, you have the right to file a formal legal complaint. In this article, our Hartford sexual harassment attorney explains the steps that you need to take to make a formal legal complaint in Connecticut.
Three Steps to File a Formal Sexual Harassment Complaint in Connecticut
1. Get Organized, Document Sexual Harassment
No worker should be forced to endure sexual harassment or sexual misconduct at their place of employment. If you were victim of on-the-job sexual harassment, you have the right to complain directly to your supervisor and/or the human resources (HR) department. To file a formal sexual harassment complaint, you will want to have as much supporting evidence as possible. At this point in the process, it is useful to consult with an experienced Connecticut employment law attorney.
2. File a State/Federal Complaint in a Timely Manner
With workplace sexual harassment claim, the process generally does not start with an immediate lawsuit. Instead, you may initiate a complaint with a state regulator or a federal regulator. The best approach depends on the specific circumstances of your case. Regardless, it is imperative that you file a complaint before the applicable deadline expires. Here is an overview of the timeline:
- State Sexual Harassment Complaint: A complaint with the Connecticut Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities (CHRO) should be initiated within 180 days of a discriminatory event, including the most recent incident of sexual harassment.
- Federal Sexual Harassment Complaint: For employees at firms with 15 or more total workers, you may have a federal sexual harassment complaint. You should initiate your claim with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) within 240 days.
3. A Notice of Right to Sue Follows CHRO/EEOC Investigation
Once you submit a formal complaint to the CHRO and/or EEOC, the agency will be responsible for investigating the allegations. At the time that the investigation is closed, an employee will receive a right-to-sue letter. Though, you have the right to request a right-to-sue letter earlier on in the process—before the CHRO or EEOC finalizes its investigation. Generally, employees have 90 days from the date on their right-to-sue letter to file a sexual harassment lawsuit. In many circumstances, a workplace sexual harassment claim is resolved after a charge is submitted to the CHRO or EEOC, but before a lawsuit is filed in state or federal court.
Get Help From a Connecticut Workplace Sexual Harassment Lawyer
At Hayber, McKenna & Dinsmore, LLC, our Connecticut sexual harassment attorneys are compassionate, justice-driven advocates for our clients. Call us now or contact us online for a completely confidential review of your employment law claim. With legal offices in Hartford and New Haven, we advocate for workplace sexual harassment victims throughout Connecticut, including in Manchester, Waterbury, Middletown. Bridgeport, Bristol, and New Britain.