Whether an employee works in Detroit, Grand Rapids, or Warren, if they have been sexually harassed at work and would like to file a complaint against their employer, they can do so by filing it with the Michigan Department of Civil Rights (MDCR). The MDCR accepts complaints stemming from discrimination or harassment and will generally launch an investigation to confirm or deny the validity of the complaint. The MDCR accepts complaints online, by phone, or by email.
If an individual isn’t sure whether the behavior their employer has been displaying would be classified as sexual harassment, they can contact the MDCR or even a Michigan sexual harassment lawyer to discuss this.
Filing a Formal Complaint for Sexual Harassment in Michigan
When an employee has been sexually harassed at work and the incident occurred within 180 days, they can file a formal complaint with MDCR. MDCR is responsible for preparing the complaint and providing it to the employee for them to fill out and get notarized. Once the form is sent back to MDCR, it shall be placed on the docket, and copies of the complaint will be sent out to both the filer and the alleged harasser. MDCR will then conduct an “impartial investigation of all available evidence.”
During the investigation the MDCR will accept any evidence that is provided on behalf of the filer and the alleged harasser and the agency may speak with witnesses or even visit the employer’s workplace. The Department may also schedule a meeting to see if the matter can be resolved amongst both parties. Sometimes, during these meetings, settlements can be reached and MDCR is able to close the case, however, if a settlement is not reached, MDCR says it will wrap up the investigation and “report on its findings.”
Are formal complaints the same as lawsuits?
No, formal complaints are not the same as lawsuits. While the MDCR is available to help a victim of sexual harassment resolve their issue, the Department is not acting as their legal representative and is not suing the harasser for allegedly engaging in sexual harassment. With that said, if a victim of harassment is unhappy with the outcome of their investigation, they can contact a Michigan sexual harassment lawyer who can assist them with filing a civil lawsuit. A civil lawsuit will help a victim recognize their employer for their illegal act and will also give them the opportunity to seek damages for how the incident(s) have impacted their personal and professional life.
If an employee would like to discuss filing a civil lawsuit against their employer in Michigan for sexual harassment or would like help with filing their complaint with MDCR, they can contact USAttorneys.com to get connected with a lawyer nearest them.
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