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To give yourself the best chance to adequately resolve workplace sexual harassment, you need to notify your employer in writing as soon as possible. If you don’t know how to write a sexual harassment complaint letter to your boss, an experienced attorney can help you.
For an example of what a complaint letter looks like, please read the article below. And if you need an experienced sexual harassment attorney, you can speak to our attorneys at King & Siegel LLP.
How to Prepare for Writing a Sexual Harassment Complaint Letter
To prepare to write your sexual harassment complaint letter, thoroughly read your employer’s complaint procedures. You should also read complaint procedures for the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH).
Your employer’s complaint procedure should let you know what information is necessary to make a formal, internal report. And the EEOC’s Charge of Discrimination form and the CRD’s workplace harassment intake form can be helpful guides for what information to include in your letter.
What to Include in a Sexual Harassment Complaint Letter
In your letter, you should provide your employer with the following:
- Your identifying information and your harasser’s identifying information (including any relevant information about sex, gender, sexuality, etc.);
- Information about your history with the employer;
- Information about your harasser’s history with the employer;
- A detailed sexual harassment statement for each incident of harassment (including the date and time of each harassing incident, what the harasser did each time, how you responded each time, and who witnessed each occurrence);
- A statement regarding the harm the harassment has caused;
- Information about the evidence you have; and
- A request for corrective action.
Let your employer know from the beginning that your correspondence is regarding sexual harassment in the workplace. While it is important to remain professional, you should not mince words or sugarcoat any harassment you have endured. By using matter-of-fact language, you can prevent your employer from feigning ignorance or twisting your words during litigation.
A Sample Sexual Harassment Complaint Letter
Imagine you identify as male, your name is John Doe, and you make arrangements in a flower shop. Your supervisor constantly makes comments implying that he believes men shouldn’t be arranging flowers, especially for events that he believes are more “feminine.” Your supervisor also engages in non-consensual touching. For this scenario, the following is a sexual harassment complaint letter you might write to your employer’s human resources department.
Re: Sexual harassment complaint against supervisor Daniel Brown
This is my official complaint regarding sexual harassment from my supervisor, Daniel Brown.
I have been a male florist for Employer for 10 years. Five years ago, I was promoted to a lead florist position and was assigned to mainly wedding accounts by my previous supervisor, Josh Matthews. I excelled at the wedding assignments. Last year, Daniel Brown became my direct supervisor. Soon after Mr. Brown became my supervisor, I noticed I rarely received wedding assignments and was relegated to providing greenery for small corporate events. When I inquired about the change, the following harassment from Mr. Brown occurred:
- May 7, 2022 – After several weeks of working corporate events while other florists received large wedding assignments, I asked Mr. Brown if he was displeased with my wedding work. Mr. Brown replied, “I figured I was doing you a favor. What kind of man wants to play around with those harpies at the bridal barn all day?” I was shaken by this comment and told Mr. Brown that the wedding clients were wonderful. Mr. Brown rolled his eyes, told me, “Don’t get your panties in a twist,” and told me to “let the chicks handle it because that’s their wheelhouse.” I told Mr. Brown that I didn’t believe wedding arrangements were for just women, and I reminded him that I often received rave reviews from our wedding clients.
- June 15, 2022 – We were short-staffed for a large wedding. I volunteered to help the team design and complete the arrangements. My coworker Lisa Green also volunteered to help. Ms. Green and I approached Mr. Brown about helping. Mr. Brown rolled his eyes at me again and joked to Lisa that he was disappointed that “the only other dude in the office was so into this chick stuff.” Mr. Brown then said that maybe the team should start calling me “Julia” and that I probably had a “thing” for this wedding stuff because I was “that kind of guy.” I told Mr. Brown that I felt his statements were inappropriate. Mr. Brown said, “Alright, Julia,” and dismissed me.
- August 20, 2022 – When I asked Mr. Brown to stop calling me Julia, he stated, “Wow, you are such a sensitive guy. Are you on your period, young lady? Or maybe Julia needs a good pinch to lighten her up.” Mr. Brown then pinched me on my buttocks and laughed. I immediately told him to stop. Florist Nina Lewis witnessed this exchange from the break room and asked me if I was OK. I told Ms. Lewis that I felt humiliated.
I have been severely depressed since this harassing behavior began. I have also lost significant commissions and professional advancement because of Mr. Brown’s refusal to assign me to wedding accounts.
I request that Employer take appropriate action to remedy this issue. I appreciate your attention to this matter.
Our Attorneys Can Help You
At King & Seigel, our experienced California sexual harassment attorneys are assertive, responsive, and compassionate toward mistreated employees. Our skilled attorneys provide the same quality of legal services to employees that this nation’s biggest companies receive. We hope you will call us in your time of need. Contact us any time.