Sexual harassment in the workplace is not only uncomfortable and awkward for the victim, it’s illegal. Lewd comments, suggestive language, and objectifying terms or visual images create a hostile environment and a situation where the employee may feel demeaned and threatened.
Unfortunately, many victims of sexual harassment do nothing about the harassment for fear of losing their jobs and being left without an income source. Whether you’ve already reported your employer for sexual harassment or you are wondering if a supervisor or coworker’s actions are considered harassment, talking to a skilled employment law firm can help bring clarity and set the stage for a resolution.
Determining if Workplace Harassment Occurred
The United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) defines sexual harassment several ways. According to federal law language, you may have been the victim of illegal sexual harassment if you were subject to:
- Unwanted sexual advances or invitations
- Derogatory jokes
- Sexually-oriented or explicit photos, posters, cartoons, drawings, or emails
- Sexual contact including touching, groping, or simulated sex acts
- Sexual threats of physical harm, reputation damage, or job loss
- Offers of money, promotions, or other benefits in exchange for sexual conduct
Employees may be targeted for sexual harassment based on their sex, sexual orientation, race, age, or other protected status. In many cases, supervisors use positions of power to intimidate and harass employees.
In some states, harassment must be of a severe nature in order for an employer to be found guilty of negligence. In cases like these, multiple offenses carry more weight than isolated incidents. Interpreting the sexual harassment laws and determining if a line has been crossed will be up to the courts. When you choose an experienced attorney from EmploymentLawFirms.org, you can work with your legal team to provide evidence of illegal harassment and build a strong case against your employer.
Legal Assistance for Sexual Harassment
While many victims of harassment fear losing their jobs, federal law prohibits firing based on an employee’s action of reporting the wrongdoing. In fact, an employer who lets an employee go after reporting harassment can be sued for wrongful termination.
Federal and local laws state that a victim of sexual harassment must follow the proper channels and report the violations. Claims of harassment should be made in writing and contain specific information as to the event and how it occurred. Incidents should be reported according to the company’s harassment policies, usually to direct supervisors, upper level management, and/or human resources. If you fail to report harassment through the indicated channels, this may limit your ability to file a sexual harassment lawsuit.
If you or a member of your family has been sexually harassed, please click here to find a sexual harassment lawyer in your area.