The Importance of Reporting Sexual Harassment in Real Estate

Sexual harassment is a serious issue that could disrupt a workplace, derail employee productivity and damage a real estate agency’s reputation. If you experience sexual harassment, discrimination or abuse in any form in the real estate industry, it is critical to report the incident right away. Prompt reporting of sexual harassment in real estate can keep you safe, preserve your right to sue and protect others, as well.

Getting Help From the Association Early On

Reporting sexual harassment in real estate could enable you to get help from the agency, brokerage or association early on – before things get worse. Your employer should promptly investigate the issue and take action to reach a resolution, such as suspending or terminating the perpetrator. Prompt reporting can protect you and others from further harassment by an offender in your workplace. It may also prevent things from getting worse, such as sexual harassment escalating into sexual assault.

Documenting Sexual Harassment at Work

It is important to clearly document your experience if you are dealing with sexual harassment or discrimination in the workplace. Reporting harassment in real estate can create a timeline of events and provide a detailed record of the harm you have suffered. This can help you take action against the perpetrator or the real estate agency in the future, if necessary, by establishing a pattern of sexual harassment and a failure to act by your employer. 

 On top of reporting sexual harassment to a supervisor or human resources agent, document the problem for your own records. Write down a description of each event, including the date, time and location. Write down the names of those involved and any witnesses. Make copies of any incident reports. If you are being harassed in the form of written notes, images, messages or emails, keep them as evidence.

Preventing Future Incidents

Staying silent about sexual harassment could put others at risk of suffering the same fate as you in the future. While it should not be your responsibility as an employee or real estate agent to prevent sexual harassment at work, you can do your part to protect others by reporting any incident – no matter how small – to your superiors. Prompt reporting can help promote a safer and more inclusive workplace culture in your office, as well as result in consequences for the perpetrator early on to enjoy a safer work environment.

Holding the Real Estate Agency Accountable

Creating a record that shows you reported sexual harassment to the real estate agency can help you prove negligence if your employer fails to respond correctly or appropriately to your complaint. If the association does not take prompt action to resolve the issue – such as suspending the alleged perpetrator and conducting a thorough investigation – you could use your original report as evidence against the agency during a civil claim. You may be eligible for financial compensation from the agency or brokerage firm for failing to protect you from sexual harassment.

Preserving Your Right to Sue

Finally, reporting sexual harassment in real estate can lay the groundwork for a personal injury claim later. Filing a report can preserve your right to sue the perpetrator and/or your employer. Waiting to report, on the other hand, could decrease your ability to pursue a claim for financial compensation. The defendant in your case could use your failure to report as evidence against you, such as to argue that the incident never happened or that your employer was unaware of the problem. Protect your legal rights by reporting sexual harassment, discrimination or sexual abuse in the San Francisco real estate workplace as soon as possible.

For assistance with a real estate sexual harassment claim, contact Manly, Stewart & Finaldi for a free and confidential case consultation.