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What damages are available in workplace sexual harassment suits?

If you experience sexual harassment in the workplace, you have some very important decisions to make about how you respond. Your first step is to alert your employer to the harassment, which, a perfect world would be the end of the matter. Unfortunately, there is often much more to this particular fight, and many cases of sexual harassment in the workplace lead to a sexual harassment lawsuit. Before you decide to dig in with a sexual harassment suit, it is wise to understand what you can expect.

Suing for sexual harassment usually requires a government agency issuing you a right-to-sue letter. Once you obtain this, you can bring a civil suit against the parties responsible. Many individuals who suffer sexual harassment worry that they may have to prove they suffered some form of physical injury in such a suit, but these suits tend to focus on emotional and mental injuries, rather than physical injuries.

Should you prevail, you have a number of remedies available. In addition to damages awarded for your injuries, you generally can obtain reinstatement in your position if you lost your job as a part of the dispute. Furthermore, your employer must usually implement policies aimed to protect against further harassment.

You also may receive three times back pay for any income you lost, including any raises that the dispute cost you. Similarly, you may receive compensation for any benefits you lost in the dispute.

Fighting for fair, appropriate treatment in the workplace is not "something other people do." If you experience sexual harassment in the workplace, you should fight for justice. An experienced attorney can help you understand how to build a strong case while protecting your rights.

Source: FindLaw, "Sexual Harassment: Actions You Can Take," accessed Sep. 22, 2017

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