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Indianapolis Workers: Know How to Recognized Sexual Harassment

— March 2, 2022

Nowadays, visual harassment also includes pornographic videos or photos of private parts sent to your phone.

Indianapolis, IN – Sexual harassment constitutes a form of sex-based discrimination, which is prohibited under the Indiana Civil Rights Act and the Civil Rights Act of 1964. However, surveys show that 25-50% of female employees experience sexual harassment in the workplace and only 15% dare to stand up for their rights. Most victims prefer to put up with harassment because they are afraid they might lose their jobs and no one will believe them anyway. Also, many are afraid they don’t even have a case, one that would stand in a court of law. If you are in such a predicament, you should at least look up good Indianapolis sexual harassment lawyers. Schedule a free consultation, tell them your story, and let them say if you have a case and what you can do about it.

How is sexual harassment defined in Indianapolis?

The law describes two types of sexual harassment, quid pro quo cases and hostile work environment cases.

Quid pro quo

This legal term comes from Latin and means ‘this for that’. It is used to describe those situations where your supervisor or anyone in a management position asks you for sexual favors in exchange for various job perks or threatens you with demotion or termination. You can have a case even if you just go to a job interview and the employer makes it clear that agreeing to sexual acts is a condition for getting the job. Indiana sexual harassment lawyers can help you file a complaint. If your employer retaliates by changing the terms of your employment or firing you, they will face an additional charge of retaliation, which is strictly prohibited in Indiana.

Hostile work environment

The term is used to refer to those situations where you are harassed by one or more coworkers. This type of sexual harassment can come in many forms and it can be physical, verbal or visual.

Three women talking; image by Adam Winger, via
Three women talking; image by Adam Winger, via

Physical harassment refers to any sort of unwanted touching of a sexual nature. This includes someone touching your breasts or putting their hands on your buttocks, which are clearly of a sexual nature. However, you can claim harassment even if someone gives you a neck massage you didn’t ask for, pats you on the shoulder or leans over you while talking to you. 

Verbal harassment is also a big problem. Offensive jokes, lewd comments about your body or questions about your sex life are all forms of verbal harassment. Your sexual harassment lawyers will instruct you to keep a diary of all the incidents, writing down who said what and, very important, who else was in the room. They might be asked to verify your account of the events.

Visual harassment used to describe things like putting up graphic posters or sexually-explicit drawings around the office. Nowadays, the term also includes pornographic videos or photos of private parts sent to your phone. Your lawyers will advise you to save all these messages as they can be used as evidence when you make a sexual harassment complaint, either with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission or the Indiana Civil Rights Commission. 

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