• Can I stay anonymous while filing a sexual harassment claim?

You may be able to seek information about your rights in the initial stages of a complaint without revealing your name, but victims of sexual harassment typically cannot remain anonymous when filing a formal sexual harassment claim.

Sexual harassment is a form of illegal employment discrimination under state and federal law. Depending on the circumstances, you may have several options for reporting sexual harassment. You may file a complaint with the Michigan Department of Civil Rights (MDCR) or the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). Or you might file a civil lawsuit.

Your employer might have internal procedures that allow confidentiality for reporting sexual harassment. But if you’re seeking compensation for damages through an administrative or court proceeding, you must disclose your name and the details of the sexual harassment to your employer.

It’s possible to file an EEOC charge on behalf of a victim of sexual assault. A victim may avoid signing the charge this way, but the chances of a victim remaining anonymous throughout the investigation are slim. Many employers will be able to figure out the victim’s identity from the circumstances of the complaint.

Similarly, complaints filed with the MDCR and in state or federal court will require you to reveal your name so your employer can respond. Federal and Michigan employment laws protect you from retaliation for filing a complaint. But if you’re concerned about your safety and need to remain anonymous, talk with your lawyer to discuss possible options.

If you’ve been sexually harassed at work, you can always contact our employment law attorneys for a free and completely confidential initial consultation.

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