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Sexual Harassment

Under federal law, sexual harassment is a crime. As per Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, employers are prohibited from discriminating against an employee based on that individual’s sex, race, religion, and ethnicity. This law is applicable in workplace environments that have more than 15 employees, including private and public businesses, federal, state, and local government employers as well as employment agencies, colleges, and universities, among others. An employer is also prohibited from taking retaliatory action against an employee for filing a charge of discrimination with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).

Forms of Sexual Harassment

Under the guidelines of the EEOC, there are two scenarios in which sexual harassment might occur in the work place:
The first of these scenarios falls within a “quid pro quo” arrangement proposed by an individual in a position of power to an employee or subordinate in which the former threatens to rescind employment or suggests that a job promotion or pay raise might be obtained if the latter were to acquiesce to their sexual advances.
The second of these scenarios presents a situation in which an employee is exposed to a hostile work environment through forcibly enduring said harassment on the part of an employer or supervisor. The conditions can become so extreme as to interfere with the ability of the employee to simply do his or her work during normal business hours.

Filing a Claim

Any employee working in an organization has the right to charge discrimination with the EEOC. The complaint may be lodged by an employee who is the target of unwanted sexual advances or by an employee witnessing said behaviors aimed at another individual in the organization.
But there are legal requirements that must be met prior to any claim being filed on a hostile work environment charge. A consistent pattern of harassing behavior must be established for the claim to be considered a violation. Sporadic and occasional incidents in which lewd comments or inappropriate behavior are demonstrated do not legally constitute sexual harassment under federal law.

Seeking Justice

Sexual harassment victims could receive financial compensation in the form of damages for pain and suffering and lost wages in the event an employee was fired for refusing to submit to unwanted sexual proposals. Your employer may also be ordered to reinstate your employment or hire you for a position that is commensurate with your skill level and experience should he or she be found guilty of harassment.

Employer Responsibilities

Every organization must be dedicated to preventing sexual harassment in the workplace. That’s why policies should be firmly in place to combat this form of illegal activity so that employers properly train employees on the definitions of harassment and the strict consequences of participating in such actions within the organization.
Any reputable business should not only encourage employees to report bad behavior when exhibited but provide a safe space and clear protocol for filing a report and foster open communication with respect to how claims are pursued and investigated.
Should you find yourself the victim of sexual harassment, you don’t want to go it alone. These types of lawsuits can get complicated and messy and you want a qualified legal team on your side to protect your rights and get you the compensation you deserve. The team of expert attorneys at Sasooness Law Group can help you fight your employer without jeopardizing your career.
Contact us today to speak to our compassionate and knowledgeable attorneys.

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