In the wake of sexual harassment scandal surrounding renowned Hollywood film producer Harvey Weinstein, sexual harassment has once again thrust itself into the national spotlight.
Dozens of women, including A-list actresses have accused the Hollywood mogul of various offences, including sexual harassment, assault and even rape, that have taken place in the past several decades.
While Weinstein and his spokespeople vehemently deny all allegations, the high-profile scandal has resulted in a nation-wide outpour of sexual assault stories from women in Los Angeles and all over the country.
Many women who came forward to report sexual harassment weren’t employees. They were actresses and entrepreneurs, who didn’t have an option to file a sexual harassment complaint with human resources.
Should you report sexual harassment to HR?
Even though employees who experience or witness sexual harassment at work are instructed to inform their HR department about the illegal wrongdoing, many women don’t consider HR the safest agency to report harassment to.
This was a sentiment voiced by Nancy Erika Smith, a sexual harassment attorney who represented former Fox News anchor Gretchen Carlson in her harassment lawsuit against Fox’s founder Roger Ailes.
“HR is not your friend. HR will not help you,” Mrs. Smith said while speaking at the Women in the World conference this week. “The first call you make is to an attorney. … You need to find out what the laws are.”
Filing a sexual harassment complaint with your company’s HR department may be a huge mistake if you haven’t consulted a sexual harassment attorney in your city first.
Here at JML Law, our finest sexual harassment attorneys provide free initial consultations to those who experienced or witnessed sexual harassment at work.
Call our Los Angeles offices today at 818-610-8800 or send us an email to investigate your particular case.
What if there’s no HR department to report to?
Going straight to the HR department to report sexual harassment may create a series of problems for the victims.
First of all, HR departments who clean up for employees may hire lawyers who will make the sexual harassment complaint go away through bullying, intimidation or other means.
But what if there is no HR department to report to? If you’re an employee who has been sexually harassed at work, you’re protected by Title VII, a federal law that acts in Los Angeles and prohibits employers from harassing or discriminating against employees.
Consult our sexual harassment attorney in Los Angeles to determine whether or not you qualify to film a Title VII complaint.
You can take criminal and civil actions
If you were sexually harassed in the workplace and you don’t have a HR department within your organization or simply don’t trust your HR, you can go straight to the police.
This is exactly what one of Weinstein’s alleged sexual assault victims did back in 2015. A 22-year-old model named Ambra Battilana Gutierrez accused the Hollywood producer of groping her breasts and putting his hand up her skirt at his office.
The police wiretapped her and sent her back to Weinstein’s office, where he confirmed his illegal act. When asked by Mrs. Gutierrez about why he had groped her breast the other day, Weinstein replied, “I’m used to that.”
This was the moment Mrs. Gutierrez obtained solid evidence – an audio recording – that enabled her to file charges against Weinstein and pursued a civil case.
Consult JML Law’s sexual harassment attorney today to find out all of the options you have to report sexual harassment and arm yourself with the finest legal representation in Los Angeles.
Call JML Law today at 818-610-8800.