Workplace harassment can be a stressful thing to deal with. It can come in a number of different forms, such as through discrimination, physical harassment, and ageism. But once you reach the point where you feel you are ready to file a lawsuit, the question of if you will be able to win said lawsuit might pop up for you.
Filing a workplace harassment lawsuit can be a process, from gathering evidence to reporting the harassment (either to HR or to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)). But if you have the evidence of harassment that has created a hostile work environment, you can work with a workplace harassment lawyer from Columbus, Ohio or closest to you to proceed with a lawsuit.
Below, we look at what goes into a workplace harassment lawsuit to begin with and what can make for a winning case.
Note: The following is not legal advice. It is general information meant to inform. Speak with a workplace harassment lawyer for legal advice and guidance.
Filing A Workplace Harassment Claim
Before you get to the point of filing a lawsuit against your place of employment, you will need to take some other steps first. You can choose to speak to the person committing the harassment or report the harassment to HR. But you can also move to filing a workplace harassment claim with the EEOC if you choose to.
Many individuals may choose to speak with a workplace harassment lawyer before filing their claim for legal advice and guidance.
The important note here, in regard to filing a workplace harassment lawsuit, is that you have to file a claim with the EEOC before you can file a lawsuit.
As stated on the EEOC website:
“All of the laws enforced by EEOC, except for the Equal Pay Act, require you to file a Charge of Discrimination with us before you can file a job discrimination lawsuit against your employer.”
Once a workplace harassment claim (also known as a Charge of Discrimination) has been filed, the EEOC will send a Notice of Right to Sue once they have closed their investigation. From there, you can look to file a lawsuit.
What Is Considered In A Workplace Harassment Lawsuit?
Once you have filed a workplace harassment lawsuit, any evidence that you and your lawyer have gathered surrounding the harassment will be taken into consideration. This evidence can include but are not limited to:
- Different documents like emails, interoffice messages, post-it notes, text messages, and direct messages
- The testimony of others in the workplace and eyewitnesses
- Physical evidence like pictures, paperwork, and other items that were used in the harassment
- Your own record of the harassment as it occurred
- HR complaints you filed in relation to the harassment
All of the above and any other relevant information will be looked at. Gathering evidence can help to build a strong case for your lawsuit and be sure to keep your own records safe.
What Does Winning A Workplace Harassment Case Look Like?
Workplace harassment cases that move to lawsuits will most often end in some kind of settlement. If your case results in a settlement, you might see a win that results in:
- Financial damages in the form of front and back pay and lost benefits
- Financial compensation even if you did not lost pay
- The removal of the supervisor or coworker that caused the harassment
- Your transfer to another shift, unit, or location
- Your return to a lost position
- Attorney’s fees
Punitive damages may also result from your lawsuit. These damages are meant to dissuade similar acts in the future, and they will typically be rewarded if your employer knew about the harassment and took no steps to stop it.
Keep in mind this is certainly not a guaranteed result for every single case as all cases will be different. There are a wide number of factors that can tie into a workplace harassment lawsuit and the end result.
Speaking with the workplace harassment lawyer in Ohio that is handling your case is recommended. They will have an in-depth idea of your case and what different elements might impact the decision that will be made regarding your lawsuit.
About the Author
Coffman Legal is an employment law firm based in Ohio with locations in cities like Columbus, Akron, and Cincinnati. Their team of experienced workplace harassment lawyers in Ohio work with clients to protect their rights as employees – both in state and out. Coffman Legal provides representation across several areas of employment including discrimination, wage and hour, employment harassment, and more. With experience in cases that range from small to large collective actions, Coffman Legal provides free consultations for potential clients.