Under Hawaii and federal law, sexual harassment is illegal. Sexual harassment can include requests for sexual acts, sexual advances and other forms of implicit and explicit conduct.
All Hawaii employers that have 15 or more employees are subject to the jurisdiction of the Hawaii Human Civil Rights Commission (“HCRC”).
Document the harassment
Sometimes acts of sexual harassment are subtle and occur as a part of an ongoing pattern. If you have experienced harassment, you must keep a journal or record of incidents. This will help you remember all the necessary details when filing your complaint. You want to make sure to document the dates of all occurrences.
Report the events to your employer
You should report any acts of harassment you face to your employer. Your employer should have specified procedures for reporting. These procedures should include alternate persons to report violations to so you do not have to directly report to your harasser.
File a complaint
You can file a complaint with the HCRC by telephone or online. You should expect an investigator to schedule an interview to get the details regarding your complaint. You must file your complaint within 180 days of the occurrence of the incident. You can also file a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”). The EEOC is the federal agency that enforces federal sexual harassment laws.
If someone is sexually harassing you in the workplace, you do not have to put up with it. You should follow the necessary steps to protect your rights to a safe workplace.