How (and when) to report?

To the Employer:
Many employer policies require that an employee who has witnessed sexual harassment or believes sexual harassment is occurring must make a report to either (1) the employer or (2) the state or federal government.  If a report is not made, some employer policies say that the employee who did not make the report may be punished for not reporting possible sexual harassment.

Under both Missouri and Federal law, it is unlawful for an employer to take consequence against an employee who reports, in good-faith, possible sexual harassment or believes that sexual harassment is occurring.

Many employees are afraid to report sexual harassment even if their employer says they must make the report.  For instance, some employees are concerned that if they report possible sexual harassment that they will get in trouble with the employer or supervisors, managers or co-workers.  We regularly represent employees who are facing this dilemma – to report or not report.  Each situation should be professionally evaluated on a case-by-case basis.

To the State or Federal Government:
Kansas City and other Missouri employees have several options.  The most common report is made to either (1) the Missouri Commission on Human Rights (State of Missouri) or (2) the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (Federal Government).

In nearly all cases, an employee is wise to strongly consider meeting with a licensed attorney who regularly practices in this area of law before filing a formal report with the Missouri Commission on Human Rights or the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

How soon do I have to make the report?:
Reports to the Missouri Commission on Human Rights and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission are usually called “charges”.

In most cases, charges under Missouri law must be filed within 180 days of the unlawful conduct, actions or comments.  In most cases, charges under federal law (in Missouri) must be filed within 300 days of the unlawful conduct, actions or comments.

Employers may have policies which set deadlines to make an internal report.  The Employers deadlines to make an internal report do not change the 180 and 300 day reporting requirements under Missouri and federal law.

Each case is different.  In some cases it is advisable to make a report right away, in other cases it is advisable to wait.