It is impossible to know for sure how many people in California are dealing with sexual harassment at work at any given time. In 2014, the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing received 4,312 harassment claims, but this is likely no more than a small percentage of the actual sexual harassment going on. Many victims choose to quit rather than tolerate or confront the harasser.
Of those who opt to pursue litigation, the vast majority end up settling their claims out of court — this is the result more than 90 percent of the time, according to CNET. The rest may go to trial.
One reason many victims of harassment are reluctant to exercise their legal rights is that they are nervous about going through the time, effort and public exposure of trial. They may worry about whether they will make for a good plaintiff, one that the jury will side with.
What makes a plaintiff in a sexual harassment suit most likely to convince jurors that his or her employer did what he or she says it did? According to one employment attorney, he or she should be likeable and relatable for jurors. If he or she is also claiming employment discrimination, the plaintiff must have a good work record, to show that the only reason he or she did not advance in the company was because of his or her gender.
Finally, a thick skin will probably be necessary. The employer’s attorneys will likely try to disparage the plaintiff’s work ethic, character and personality.
Of course, the most important thing is to have a strong case. Your employment law attorney will know how to present your case to the court.