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Do I Have to Use My Real Name to Litigate a New York Sexual Harassment Lawsuit?

sexual harassmentWhen it comes to sexual harassment in the workplace, victims sometimes worry about maintaining their privacy. In some cases, you might not need to use your real name when litigating a New York sexual harassment lawsuit. There are also other ways to protect your privacy when filing a lawsuit.

Some victims of sexual harassment might have the option of not using their real names when filing a sexual harassment complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) or when suing their employer in court.

Instead, they can use a pseudonym, such as “Jane Doe” or “John Smith.” This allows them to maintain their privacy while still pursuing justice and holding their harasser accountable.

Keep in mind, it’s rare and courts only allow pseudonyms in limited circumstances. It’s generally not allowed, but courts allow it in certain circumstances.

Why Use a Pseudonym When Filling a Sexual Harassment Claim?

There are many reasons why someone might choose to use a pseudonym when filing a sexual harassment claim.

In some cases, the person may feel more comfortable using a different name than their own.

In other cases, the person may be concerned about retaliation or reprisal from their employer. Employers cannot legally retaliate against you for filing a claim in good faith, but some people are more comfortable not using their real name.

Using a pseudonym also protects against future potential employers from knowing you filed a claim. This means you can leave any difficult situation behind you when you move on from your current employer to a new job.

What Else Can You Do to Protect Your Privacy When Filing a Claim?

If you choose not to use a pseudonym or the court does not allow you to do so when you file a sexual harassment claim or you’d like to take additional steps to protect your privacy during the experience, there are several things you can do.

For instance:

Carefully Review Court Documents

Review any documents with your attorney before filing them with the court. This includes documents that your attorney plans to file, as well as any documents that the other side submits.

If there is information in the document that you do not want public, ask your attorney to redact (remove) it before filing.

Keep Your Case Off of Social Media

Don’t make the mistake of sabotaging your own privacy. Some people consider the professional aspects of protecting their privacy. However, they don’t consider the risks of sharing details of their case personally on social media.

Also remember, anything you post on social media, including Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, can be used against you in a lawsuit. Even if you have your accounts set to private, there is always the chance that something you post will be seen by someone on the other side. It is best to avoid discussing your case on social media altogether.

Keep Your Communication with Your Attorney Confidential

The law protects discussions between you and your attorney through attorney-client privilege. This means the court cannot use what you’ve discussed with your attorney against you.

However, there are some exceptions to this rule. Make sure you discuss any concerns about your privacy with your attorney to make sure that your communications are protected.

If you have been the victim of sexual harassment, you should speak with an experienced New York employment law attorney. To learn more or to schedule a consultation to discuss your situation, contact Borrelli & Associates, P.L.L.C. for a free consultation.


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