What You Need to Know About Georgia Workplace Sexual Harassment Laws
Victims of workplace sexual harassment have the right to pursue harassment claims. Here’s everything you need to know about Georgia’s workplace sexual harassment laws.
The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission handles cases of workplace sexual harassment. If an individual feels their employer or coworker sexually harassed them in the workplace, they can file an inquiry and resolve their conflict through mediation or a lawsuit.
Defining Workplace Sexual Harassment
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex. According to the act, sexual harassment is considered discrimination based on sex. The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) defines sexual harassment as an uninvited request for sexual favors and highly inappropriate physical conduct.
Penalties of Workplace Sexual Harassment in Georgia
Georgia does not have specific laws which punish sexual harassment in the workplace. However, Georgia law prohibits discrimination based on sex. Like in Title VII, this implicitly includes sexual harassment.
If an individual believes their employer or coworker sexually harassed them in the workplace, they can file a complaint with the EEOC. Once a victim files a charge, a perpetrator of sexual harassment may face a lawsuit where they will pay damages to the victim.
Preventing Workplace Sexual Harassment in Georgia
Georgia Executive Order 220.127.116.11 works to prevent workplace sexual harassment in Georgia. The Executive Order requires all state employees in Georgia to follow training on sexual harassment policies. It also ensures reporting and investigation practices in cases of workplace sexual harassment.
Each Executive Branch agency in Georgia must designate at least two people of different genders to investigate workplace sexual harassment complaints. Designated officials must review and investigate all complaints of sexual harassment.
Steps After Experiencing Workplace Sexual Harassment in Georgia
After experiencing workplace sexual harassment in Georgia, a victim should visit EEOC’s Public Portal or their local EEOC office. Here, they may submit an inquiry. They may also need to participate in an inquiry interview with an EEOC staff. Following the interview, a victim of workplace sexual harassment can file a charge.
After filing a charge with the EEOC, they will contact an applicant’s employer within ten days with information on the charge. Then, the EEOC will investigate the applicant’s claim.
If the EEOC does not find evidence of workplace sexual harassment, they will issue a Dismissal and Notice of Rights. Individuals may still file a lawsuit within 90 days of receiving a Dismissal and Notice of Rights.
If the EEOC does find evidence of workplace sexual harassment, they will send both an applicant and their employer a Letter of Determination which invites both parties to resolve issues through mediation.
If either party decides not to pursue mediation, the EEOC will file a lawsuit on the applicant’s behalf or send them a Notice of Right to Sue. An applicant has 90 days to file a lawsuit after receiving a Notice of Right to Sue.
FAQs About Georgia Workplace Sexual Harassment Laws
Are there restrictions to filing a harassment complaint in Georgia?
Individuals can only file workplace harassment complaints in Georgia if their employer has at least 15 employees. Victims of workplace harassment must file their complaints within 180 days after the harassment.
Do I have to go to court after filing a workplace sexual harassment charge in Georgia?
No, the EEOC will never force an applicant for a workplace sexual harassment charge to go to court or file a lawsuit. If they prefer, they may participate in an informal mediation with their employer. Both a lawsuit and mediation can lead to compensation for a victim of workplace sexual harassment in Georgia.
How can a lawyer help me with Georgia Workplace Sexual Harassment Laws?
An attorney can help victims of workplace sexual harassment file an inquiry or charge with the EEOC. They can also help their victims decide whether they want to mediate or bring a harassment claim to trial. In a trial, a lawyer can advocate for their client.
Free Consultation With an Employment Attorney
If you need a lawyer to help with workplace sexual harassment laws in Georgia, contact us. At Her Lawyer, our attorneys specialize in workplace sexual harassment. Get your free consultation with the right attorney for you.