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How Hard is It to Prove Sexual Harassment in Phoenix?

— March 4, 2022

Keep a diary of the incidents, writing down who did what to you and list all the persons that witnessed the scene.

Phoenix, AZ – Sexual harassment in the workplace continues to be a prevalent problem in Arizona, although this type of conduct is prohibited under the Arizona Civil Rights Act, as well as under the federal Civil Rights Act of 1964. One of the biggest challenges is that victims are not always aware of their rights and don’t know how to file a complaint. If you’re in such a situation, the first step you need to take is look up experienced Phoenix sexual harassment lawyers. When you reach out to a lawyer they will listen to your story and tell you what sort of evidence you can use to prove a sexual harassment claim.

What are the three forms of sexual harassment?

Sexual harassment can be physical, verbal and visual, each of it disturbing in its own way. 

Physical harassment includes any inappropriate touching, such as fondling, groping, hugging, massaging or kissing. Even if a coworker bumps into you ‘by accident’ and touches you this can be considered harassment if it happens more than once. If you’re subjected to this type of harassment, you need to make it clear that you find such conduct offensive. Keep calm and tell your harassers to stop doing that. If you never say anything, when you make a complaint your harassers will swear they thought you enjoyed their advances, so don’t be afraid to speak out.

Also, keep a diary of the incidents, writing down who did what to you and list all the persons that witnessed the scene. Seasoned Arizona sexual harassment lawyers usually talk to eyewitnesses and convince them to testify. Under Arizona law, all employees helping with such an investigation are protected under retaliation. 

Verbal harassment refers to inappropriate jokes, sexual innuendos, comments about your looks or questions concerning your sex life. Even if the guys at the office entertain themselves by making sexist jokes without talking to you specifically, your lawyers can argue that is sexual harassment as the obvious intent was to make you feel uncomfortable. The same applies if your coworkers listen to music with sexually-explicit lyrics and full or derogatory terms. Once again, it is advisable to tell them you find their behavior offensive.

People joking around; image by Eliott Reyna, via
People joking around; image by Eliott Reyna, via

On the other hand, if a coworker tells you he likes you and asks you out, that doesn’t constitute sexual harassment. If they insist after you say no and make it clear you’re not interested, that’s a different story and it can be considered harassment.

Visual harassment consists of displays of sexually-explicit images in the workplaces. If a coworker puts up offensive images, your sexual harassment lawyers can make a case out. Make sure to take pictures of any such display.

The digital era ushered in a new type of harassment, via text messages and emails. If someone sends you sexually-explicit videos or pictures of their private parts, tell them to stop, but don’t delete the messages. They can be used as evidence when you file a complaint, whether with your employer or with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission or with the Arizona Civil Rights Division. 

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