Harassment at work comes in different forms. Sexual harassment is a blatant and serious type of workplace harassment. The non-sexual acts include verbal, psychological, emotional, or physical abuse due to religion, race, color, or gender. It also includes discrimination and bullying.

If you are experiencing any of the oppressive conditions and your work performance is affected by a hostile environment because of a workmate or employer, you can file a formal complaint. For this purpose, you need to seek legal aid from top workplace harassment attorneys in Costa Mesa. It is important to nip the harassment early to avoid affecting the productivity, safety, and comfort of employees or putting your company in legal jeopardy.

Confront the person 

If you are comfortable and confident enough to tell the person who is harassing you to stop, then do so. Whether it is a co-employee or a boss, if you think that you are being discriminated against or bullied, approaching the person to clear the underlying issue is a good move. Resolving the issue in a private setting and in a calm manner is the ideal way, but not if it is sexual or physical abuse.

Escalate the issue  

If your attempt fails, you can consider escalating the matter to the attention of your immediate supervisor. If the perpetrator has authority over you, go directly to the HR and seek intervention. Make sure to provide strong evidence like messages, eyewitness accounts, screenshots, texts, or even performance evaluations.

Review the anti-harassment policy of the company

If you are not confident about facing the person, you can check the anti-harassment policy that is included in your company’s employee handbook. You can ask the Human Resource person for a copy of the policy. If there is a policy, review the necessary steps to report the incident. There would be several reporting options, including filing a formal harassment complaint. If the company does not have an existing policy, talk to your superior. It would be more difficult if the one doing the harassment is your employer or owner of the business.

File a harassment complaint with DFEH

If the harassment is causing you a lot of stress, work pressure, and health troubles, your best move is to file a harassment charge with DFEH (Department of Fair Employment and Housing) in California. Take note that under the California labor and employment law, you will be protected against the possible punishment or retaliation of the accused party if you pursue your complaint. If you are not ready to file a full complaint, the DFEH website has an online form that can be used for filing a pre-complaint inquiry or if you need to file a retaliation complaint. You can file your charge within three years since the harassment occurred. For cases outside California, the right agency is the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).

Why do you need an anti-harassment lawyer?

A harassment complaint is a prerequisite if you want to file a lawsuit against the person who makes your working experience unbearable or to your safety and sanity. If the company fails to protect its employees, it is legally liable to compensate the victim. To protect your rights, a well-experienced lawyer will assist you in ensuring that the one responsible for any kind of harassment you are experiencing stops his action and faces legal consequences. If your manager or employer is the culprit, the law states that you don’t need to report the harassment to keep him accountable. You can sue the person and get justice.

A workplace harassment attorney will help you outline the description of the harassment acts so you can provide clear facts and details. Your lawyer works with you during the preparation of the harassment report, documents the reporting and discussions, prepares you for handling the harasser if there are any future attempts, and monitors the response to your complaint.


Dealing with workplace harassment is emotionally draining, which can affect your productivity and motivation to do your job. With a trusted lawyer on your side to give advice and support, you get the right perspective to go through the process and do your job without fear.