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Sexual Harassment

What is Sexual Harassment?

Unwelcome sexual advances, request for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature.Sexual harassment does not need to be based on sexual desire. It can be based on same sex as well. 

What are examples of sexual harassment?

  • unwelcome physical touching of a sexual nature​

  • proposing employment advances or hiring for sexual act ("quid pro quo")

  • visual harassment by displaying sexually explicit objects, cartoons, or pictures 

  • pattern of verbal abuse by sexually offensive comments and degrading words

  • Making sexual advances or propositions, physically or verbally

  • bullying someone using gender-related comments or conduct 

  • Treating a person badly because they do not conform gender roles

What is a hostile work environment?

Sexual harassment in which a work environment is created where an employee is subject to unwelcome verbal or physical sexual behavior that is either severe or pervasive enough to alter the conditions of the victim's employment and create an abusive working environment. This type of harassment might occur, for example, if a group of coworkers repeatedly e-mailed pornographic pictures to a colleague who found the pictures offensive. 

What should I do if I'm being sexually harassed?

Most of the time, informal action can achieve the fastest resolution. Start by telling the person harassing you as clearly as possible to stop the behavior. Next, put your complaint in writing, telling the person that you find the behavior offensive and what action you will take if it continues. If this does not work, check your employer's policy to see with whom you should file a formal complaint. Generally, you can file a formal complaint with your supervisor (unless he or she is the person harassing you) or a Human Resources representative. 

Be sure to keep detailed records of each offensive incident. Make note of the time, date and underlying facts of each incident, as well as copies of all related correspondence or complaints. 

What if My employer Does Nothing to Help Me?

Most states' laws require an employer to provide an environment free from harassment. Consequently, once employers are notified about the harassment, they must correct it. Many states provide for a serrate legal claim when the employer who is notified of the harassment fails to take appropriate action to stop it. 

If you employer fails to resolve the issue, your next step is to file a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission or the corresponding local state agency. If either of these agencies finds evidence of sexual harassment and attempts to resolve the dispute have failed, the agency will issue you a right-to-sue letter. After receiving your right-to-sue letter, you have the right to file a private lawsuit against your employer to seek compensation 

If you are a victim of sexual harassment in the workplace, Daugherty Law Group can help empower you to get justice privately or publicly. Please contact us today to schedule a free consultation and case evaluation.