Why It’s Important to Have Three Years to File Sexual Harassment Complaints Occurring in the Workplace in California

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Posted by Legal Team On August 15, 2022

Sexual harassment complaints arise from individuals of all genders, ages, and income levels across numerous industries. Providing three years in which to file a sexual harassment complaint is extremely important because many victims would remain silent otherwise.

In California, victims have three years in which to file sexual harassment complaints. While this time frame seems openly generous on the surface, it can appear to be too short for those individuals dealing with this type of situation. Anyone in this situation has a lot to consider and may need time to fully digest the consequences of staying quiet versus filing the complaint. Here are some of the reasons holding people back from telling the truth.

Fear of a Hostile Work Environment

Once other supervisors and employees know about the filing of a sexual harassment complaining, it is only natural for them to begin to take sides, creating a hostile work environment. While the support provided by anyone who sides with the victim is helpful, the negative comments and behaviors offered by individuals on the dissenting side can be extremely harmful, demotivating, and emotionally draining.

Fear of Reprisals at the Job Site

Victims often fear retaliatory behavior or comments in general, including taunts and jokes. The fear of losing employment, particularly in a year when the coronavirus pandemic is creating a havoc all of its own, can be overwhelming. Both of these circumstances can lead to a paralyzing state of mind, which is why having three years to file a sexual harassment at the workplace complaint in California is important.

Difficulty Deciding if the Behavior is Illegal

As with many types of legal issues, it is often difficult to determine whether or not filing a complaint is merited. In order for the behavior to be labeled as illegal, it must be offensive on a subjective and objective nature. It must offend victims to the point that it affects their ability to perform work tasks. The behavior must also be at a level that affects most people with a reasonable disposition to find it unpleasantly offensive, abusive in nature, and hostile in presentation. The absence of human resource individuals within the workplace hinders the process as well.

Denial of the Incident Having Taken Place

Many victims of sexual harassment are uncomfortable coming forward with the complaint, particularly if the behavior occurred at the workplace. Fear, confusion, and misplaced guilt over the incident can stop the victim from even considering the possibility of filing a claim and getting the unwanted attention delivered by sexually harassing behavior to stop. For too long, a stigma has been placed on employees who report sexual harassment. This knowledge also prevents victims from reporting this crime.

Downside of Taking Three Years to File Sexual Harassment Complaints in California

If your sexual harassment claim relies on the testimony of other people to back it up, taking three years to file a complaint can be risky. Not everyone has a good memory that allows them to retell past events exactly as they occurred.

If you believe you have been the victim of sexual harassment at a California workplace, you have three years to file a complaint. Don’t give up hope that you can achieve the justice you deserve and reclaim your pride, self-confidence, and self-esteem. Contact our office today to discuss the possibilities and move forward with getting your life back.