Facts about the Harassment Cease and Desist Letter template

What is a Harassment Cease and Desist Letter?

A harassment cease and desist letter is a formal document where you ask someone to stop harassing you right away. In it you explain the actions that you consider harassment, tell the offenders you want them to stop these actions immediately, and state what the consequences will be if they don’t.

There are many different types of harassment. For example, a debt collector repeatedly calling you at all hours of the night, threatening you or intimidating you is harassment. Harassment can be a few serious actions or a pattern of unwelcome behavior, such as specific threats against you or a toxic work environment where managers use constant abusive speech.

Insulting you, intimidating your family, threatening to hurt you, threatening to get you fired, swearing at you, making fun of you, posting humiliating photos of you online, calling you offensive/racist names and other offending behavior are all types of harassment. Sexual harassment involves unwelcome advances, offensive jokes, physical behaviors and other actions that make you uncomfortable. In all of these cases, you can use a harassment cease and desist letter to tell the person to stop.

What is a Harassment Cease and Desist Letter used for?

A harassment cease and desist letter serves two main purposes. It tells offenders that their actions are not welcome and warns them that you’re going to take more serious legal action if the harassing behavior continues. You can use this document if you’re experiencing any kind of harassment, including sexual innuendo, threats, verbal attacks or intimidation, persistent phone calls, bullying and other unwelcome treatment.

Why should you use a Harassment Cease and Desist Letter?

You have a right to be happy. Being constantly bullied, mocked, verbally threated or subjected to unwanted sexual advances are traumatic experiences. They can provoke stress, cause emotional problems and affect your physical health. Using a harassment cease and desist letter is the first step in getting the unwelcome behavior to stop.

Since a cease and desist letter is only a warning, does it make sense to send one for persistent harassment? That’s up to you. At the very least, this document helps you establish proof you told the offending person that the behavior bothers you. If you’re worried the person may become physically aggressive, however, you may want to go directly to a lawyer for a restraining order.

How to write a Harassment Cease and Desist Letter?

It's important for a harassment cease and desist letter to be strongly worded. This lets the offending party know that the matter is very serious. You also need to keep things professional, so don't use expletives. Here are the main details:

  • Your name and contact info: Understandably, you may not feel like including your personal address or home phone number. In that case, use a business phone number, separate email address or P.O. box if it makes you more comfortable.

  • The harasser’s name: Write the full name of the individual who is harassing you. If the problem is caused by a company, put the business’s name instead.

  • The harasser’s contact details: Put the mailing address where you will send the completed form. If possible, include the person’s phone number as well.

  • Description of the harassment: Using short but clear sentences, write down exactly what has happened. For example, "you have repeatedly hugged me or tried to hug me even though I told you I don’t like to be touched by coworkers."

  • Other details: If you have them, include specific dates and places related to the harassment.

  • The effects on you or your business: If you feel comfortable doing so, explain why the person’s actions are serious, i.e. the physical, emotional or financial effects of the behavior. Here’s an example: "In order to avoid your repeated, unwelcome sexual advances, I had to transfer to another department, which cost me significant salary."

  • Your demand: Usually, a cease and desist letter warns the person to stop immediately. You can also include other requests, from public apologies to staying away from you. Here’s an example: "Calling me at home is inappropriate, and I want you to stop right away."

  • Warning: Mention what your next action will be if they don’t stop. This usually involves taking legal action, though in harassment cases it may include things such as calling the police or making a formal sexual harassment accusation at work.

  • Deadline: Give the person a specific amount of time to contact you or stop the behavior before following through on threats of legal action.

How to fill out a Harassment Cease and Desist Letter with PDFSimpli in five steps?

  • 1. Prepare:

    The best harassment cease and desist letters are direct, clear and powerful. To create this type of letter, you need to write down your ideas in a separate document first. Figure out how to explain the exact problem in a few sentences. Look through your records for exact details, such as what the person said or did, dates, text messages and other proof.

  • 2. Choose Software:

    PDFSimpli is a great choice for filling out a harassment cease and desist letter template because it’s really easy to use. In just a few minutes, you can take the information from your files and finish the PDF document. PDFSimpli doesn’t require you to download or install any programs.

  • 3. Fill Out or Edit Harassment Cease and Desist Letter:

    If you’re using a harassment cease and desist template online template, check that it gives you enough space to write the information you need. For extra space, use PDFSimpli’s Create Text Box Tool to add extra text. To type text in blank spaces, click on the Add Text Tool and start typing immediately.

  • 4. Review:

    Give your completed document a once-over to make sure everything is filled in and spelled correctly. You can use PDFSimpli’s Spellcheck feature to help here.

  • 5. Save, Download, Print or Send for Signature:

    The final step is to save your PDF document. Click "Save" at the top of the screen. Next, decide how you want to send the form. To mail it, first click "Print," to create a physical copy. You can also use PDFSimpli’s Send for Signature feature to deliver the PDF digitally and get a signature.

Harassment Cease and Desist Letter frequently asked questions

A cease and desist letter isn’t legally enforceable, so there’s no need to file it in court. Instead, this document is a warning that the next step will be legal proceedings. If possible, deliver the C&D using certified mail or a process server to get a signature receipt. If the person refuses to listen to you, then you would need to hire an attorney and ask a judge for a cease and desist order, which is legally enforceable.

The law regarding harassment depends on the violation. Workplace harassment, or discrimination based on gender, race and other factors, violates federal employment laws. In these cases, you can sue the person or company in court. Many businesses also have in-house disciplinary actions with cases of harassment. Criminal harassment that can get someone arrested is mainly related to stalking, physical violence and other credible threats to someone’s safety or family.

Stalking someone is a very serious type of harassment violation. Someone may follow you, contact you or leave packages for you repeatedly, provoking fear. This can also happen online, where the person may post your personal details, track your location or share upsetting photos of you. You can absolutely use a harassment cease and desist letter in these cases. Also, while each state has its own laws on criminal activity regarding stalking and cyberstalking, most of the time these actions are crimes, so you may be able to apply for a restraining order directly.