Sexual harassment occurs in many forms and anyone in the workplace can be a potential perpetrator. If an individual is being harassed and they work in the State of South Carolina, they do have the option of filing a complaint with the South Carolina Human Affairs Commission if they are looking to report the misconduct. Now, there are a few important things employees should be aware of when they are looking to file a formal sexual harassment complaint against their employer or someone who they work with.
- Time Limits
The South Carolina Human Affairs Commission allows individuals up to 180 days from the date the incident occurred to file their complaint. If the complaint is filed after 180 days but before 300 days, it may still be accepted but it could potentially be transferred to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).
- Intake Forms
Before a formal Charge of Discrimination is filed (sexual harassment complaints are actually filed in the form of a Charge of Discrimination), the South Carolina Human Affairs Commission requires individuals to fill out the Employment Initial Intake Questionnaire. This form can be filed online, or it can be printed and mailed, faxed, or dropped off at the following location:
1026 Sumter Street, Suite 101
Columbia, SC 29201
If the agency determines an employee has a valid reason for filing a formal complaint, it shall prepare a Charge of Discrimination for them to sign and return to the office. A case number will then be signed and served on the party who is being recognized for misconduct. This could be a manager or someone else in the workplace. The agency will then determine if the charge should go through mediation, an investigation, or if it should be transferred to the EEOC for processing.
- Processing Time
There are a number of factors including how serious the allegations are that will affect how long it takes the agency to process the complaint. Generally, cases can take up to about 180 days to process, according to the South Carolina Human Affairs Commission.
Some of the remedies that might be available to a victim of sexual harassment include:
- Back pay, if the sexual harassment cost them their job or caused them to lose wages
- Attorney’s fees
- Expert witness fees
- Court costs
In addition, the agency requires the employer to stop “any discriminatory practices and take steps to prevent discrimination in the future.” This includes sexual harassment.
If, at any time, an employee is unclear of their rights or if their complaint is being handled properly, they can always contact a South Carolina sexual harassment lawyer. In fact, it is recommended that a victim of sexual harassmentcontact an attorney after an incident has occurred as they can lay out all of an employee’s options and help them choose the most suitable one to take. To get connected with a SC sexual harassment attorney in Greenville, Columbia, Charleston, or anywhere else, contact USAttorneys.com for assistance.