At-will employment states such as Nebraska allow employers to terminate employees at any time, for any reason, except an illegal one, or for no reason without legal consequence, and can result in an employee’s increased fear of reporting bullying or harassment on the job.
There are similarities in bullying and sexual harassment behaviors in the workplace as they are both meant to cause discomfort to an employee.
Bullying is actionable under Federal law, depending upon the extent of the behavior and if it is based on sex or race, in which case it is covered under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Bullying is described as unwelcome behavior that may occur over a period of time and is meant to harm someone who feels like they have no power to fight back or respond to the negative behavior.
Sexual harassment claims cannot be made if the sexual behavior was welcomed, or occurred with mutual consent. Sexual harassment is illegal when it is so frequent, or severe that it creates a hostile or offensive work environment, or when it results in an adverse employment decision, such as a victim being fired, transferred, or demoted. The harasser can be the victim’s supervisor, a supervisor in another area, a co-worker, or someone who is not an employee of the employer, such as a client or customer. Individuals who feel they have no choice but to quit a job due to sexual harassment at work should consult with a sexual harassment attorney in Nebraska.
Employees who find themselves victim to bullying or harassment should know they can immediately report the incidents to their supervisors, management-level employees, human resources departments and other employees who are in a position to receive and act against negative workplace behaviors. At-will employment states such as Nebraska allow employers to terminate employees at any time, for any reason, except an illegal one, or for no reason without legal consequence, and can result in an employee’s increased fear of reporting bullying or harassment on the job. It is best to seek legal counsel in Nebraska for guidance in this case.
- Direct reporting.
- Requesting mediation as an informal solution.
- Employer grievance procedures.
- Equal Employment Opportunity Commission complaint against the alleged sexual harassment in the workplace.
Know the law
The law addresses sexual harassment in the form of unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors and other verbal, or physical conduct of a sexual nature through:
- Quid Pro Quo. Authoritative figures/bosses in the workplace demand, or require sexual acts for preferential treatment, or to avoid punitive action.
- Hostile Work Environment. A boss or employer does not remedy a work environment where sexually inappropriate behavior is present creating intimidating, hostile and abusive work environments.
Sexual harassment is a form of sex discrimination that violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Title VII applies to employers with 15 or more employees, including state and local governments. It also applies to employment agencies, labor organizations, and the federal government. If there is some reason that a victim is not protected under Title VII language, a civil rights, personal injury, or employment law attorney may be able to offer another means toward compensation when sexual harassment causes harm and damage to an employee.
Victims of bullying and sexual harassment have legal options against the negative behavior, and seeking legal counsel is the first thing a victim should do after reporting the abuse through the proper channels at a place of employment, or at school, or wherever the incident took place; if there are procedural guidelines set up that must be followed.
Speak with an attorney regarding compensation.
- Monetary damages including back pay, attorney and court fees, emotional pain, and negative effects of the harassment.
- Equitable relief by job reinstatement, or promotion.
- Punitive damages if actions were extremely offensive, and egregious sexual harassment misconduct.
If you, or someone you know is a victim of sexual harassment, or related sexual assault, seek out a professional attorney for guidance toward legal actions that will remedy the situation.