Facing a sexual harassment situation in your workplace can be difficult, confusing, and emotionally draining. Contacting a lawyer to help you through what is often a maze of administrative agencies, laws, regulations can not only keep you in compliance with all of these rules, but also can help you present the strongest sexual harassment claim possible.
First, there are many different types of laws that can apply to your situation, and it may be difficult to figure out which laws apply to your situation. There may be a variety of local ordinances, state and federal laws which prohibit sexual harassment that apply to your circumstances. Trying to determine which laws apply and what agency to go to on your own can be difficult; a lawyer can help guide you down the appropriate path.
Next, it is essential to preserve evidence of sexual harassment in order to help prove and support your claim. A lawyer can advise you as to the types of evidence you should keep, how you should document or keep the evidence, and which types of evidence are most useful to your claim. Since only a lawyer has expertise as to what sort of evidence is most valuable, as well as what is admissible in court or administrative proceedings, then a lawyer can best help you in this area.
A lawyer can also give you an honest opinion as to whether you have a successful sexual harassment claim. What you may consider to be sexual harassment might not always result in a successful claim, for a variety of reasons. For instance, if you once had a long-term dating relationship with your supervisor, even though your company policy banned such relationships, and now your supervisor is harassing you, a jury might not be as sympathetic to your claim. Furthermore, there may be another detail, or a missing piece of evidence, that might negatively impact your claim. Perhaps you have missed an essential deadline for filing a claim. Because sexual harassment claims are so fact-specific and subject to so many rules, you need to have an attorney evaluate your claim before you decide to spend what could be a great deal of money to file a lawsuit that ultimately might not succeed.
Finally, hiring a lawyer can sometimes be threatening enough to an employer that the company may be willing to settle your complaint more quickly. After all, if you’ve hired a lawyer, it shows that you are serious about pursuing your sexual harassment claim. If this is the case, the company may offer you a satisfactory settlement, and then you won’t have to go to the time and expense of filing a lawsuit. Plus, a lawyer can help you evaluate all potential settlement offer, in terms of whether the settlement is sufficient, or whether it is not enough to satisfy your claim. Without any attorney, you may tempted to settle your claim for less than it is actually worth, or to reject a settlement offer that you shouldn’t really pass up.