Regardless of the type of harassment you are facing, a professional lawyer can educate you on your workplace rights and teach you how to stop the unwelcome conduct.
Sexual harassment is an unlawful behavior that violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. However, identifying the conduct that leads to harassment isn’t always easy. For every clear-cut example of improper demeanor, numerous situations fall under a grey area.Maybe your colleagues keep commenting on your appearance, or your boss has the habit of making sexually charged jokes that make you feel uncomfortable. How can you tell when this type of attitude has crossed the line and rose to the level of violating the law?A qualified sexual harassment lawyer can educate you about the many faces of unwanted sexual behavior and help you take legal action against your offender. They will defend your rights and help you pursue justice. At USAttorneys we believe that you deserve to work in a safe and lawful environment. We’ve made it our purpose to help you stand up for your rights, make your voice heard, and receive the compensation you deserve.
Still a Grim Reality of Today’s Workplace
Employees must attend training that teaches them how to prevent sexual harassment. Companies must offer proof that they’ve educated their employees on anti-harassment policies to avoid liability. However, in most instances, this type of preventive behavior isn’t effective. As a result, sexual behavior is still a fundamental problem and a grim reality of most workplace environments.
The problem is that while this type of training manages to teach employees basic information, such as how they can report violations, they promote and reinforce gender stereotypes. Thus, instead of addressing the cause of the problem, they create a breeding environment where men are portrayed as sexual predators while women are weak and vulnerable.
Educating employees on the legal standards of unwanted sexual advances is paramount. People must know what constitutes an unlawful behavior and what they should do if they’ve been the victim of it. Making employees aware of their rights and obligations are the first and crucial steps to a safe and lawful workplace environment.
However, if companies want to reduce the possibility of sexual harassment in their offices, then they must create a culture in which all employees are treated as equal, regardless of their gender, race or sexual orientation.
Companies have the obligation to create a safe and comfortable environment for their employees. If one of your colleagues or your manager is acting inappropriately, requesting sexual favors, or making offensive comments, then you have the right to file a complaint. If the company has done nothing to remedy the situation, then you should seek the counsel of a sexual harassment lawyer.
The Legal Standard
By law, sexual harassment includes any unacceptable sexual advances, request for sexual favors in exchange for certain benefits, or any verbal or physical persecution of sexual nature. It can also include offensive remarks about a person’s sex, such as making disrespectful comments about women.
Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 also states that for the behavior to become unlawful, it must be so severe that it creates a hostile work environment that affects employees’ morale and their emotional well-being.
While these legal standards can be helpful, the situation can become rather difficult to manage when you or someone around you faces such an issue.
If you suspect that you’ve been the victim of unwanted sexual advances, then a sexual harassment lawyers can instruct you on your rights and guide you in your pursuit to take legal action.
Sexual assault is a different matter and requires criminal lawyers.
- Sexually explicit jokes;
- Unwanted language, emails or phone calls;
- Requests for sexual favors in exchange for a raise or promotion;
- Inappropriate touching;
- Sexual Assault;
- Retaliation after filing a harassment complaint;
- Hostile workplace environment
A specialized employment lawyer can analyze your situation and evaluate the viability of your case. By filing a suit against your harasser, you can obtain justice and the compensation you deserve. Don’t ignore improper behavior thinking that it’s just a solitary act. A single incident can create a precedent that will, eventually, lead to a negative and insecure environment.
Address and report sexual misconduct
According to an EEOC task force report, almost one third of the approximately 90,000 charges received by EEOC in fiscal year 2015 included an allegation of workplace harassment. This includes, among other things, charges of unlawful harassment on the basis of sex (including sexual orientation, gender identity, and pregnancy), race, disability, age, ethnicity/national origin, color, and religion. Victims of sex-based harassment often deny, or tone down an egregious situation to avoid, or ignore the negative behavior. An estimated three out of four employees who have experienced some form of sexual harassment at work do not even report it to their supervisor, or human resources department. Talk to sexual harassment attorneysabout concerns that the conduct by a person who may be controlling their work activities, including promotion and upward mobility outweighs inaction to a reported claim, concerns of transferred blame to employee, and social/ professional stigmatization and retaliation.
The victim should directly inform the harasser that their conduct is unwelcome and insist that it stops if they are not afraid. Employer policies should be referenced and a victim should use any employer complaint mechanism, or grievance system available. The more information contained in the complaint including proof of the allegations where possible will give strength to claims taken to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). When investigating allegations of sexual harassment, EEOC looks at the circumstances, such as the nature of the sexual advances, and the context in which the alleged incidents occurred. A positive settlement award may be the result of a strong case presented by experienced legal counsel.
A sexual harassment law firm can explain tips toward prevention, as it is the best tool to eliminate sexual harassment in the workplace. Employers are encouraged to take steps necessary to prevent sexual harassment from occurring. They should clearly communicate to employees that sexual harassment will not be tolerated. They can do so by providing sexual harassment training to their employees and by establishing an effective complaint, or grievance process and taking immediate and appropriate action when an employee complains. Sexual harassment lawyers can assist human resource departments as they develop and maintain standard operating work policies to support methods that deter sexual harassment in the workplace.
Leadership and workplace culture may have positive impact on the reduction of sexual harassment in the workplace through harassment prevention efforts that include standard operating policies with outlined requirements of reporting, maintaining confidentiality and professionalism. Committing to a respectful, diverse, and inclusive employee cohort and ensuring that anti-harassment efforts are given priority in the workplace. Management training must be geared toward reduction of workplace harassment versus the consequences of legal action and liability concerns and costs to employers.
Supervisors and other responsible department personnel who observe, are informed of, or reasonably suspect sexual harassment claims might be filed, should immediately report such incidents and initiate prompt investigation. Supervisors should take effective measures to ensure no further apparent, or alleged harassment of the victim occurs, pending completion of an EEOC investigation, or other legal action. Employers should attempt to maintain privacy of the alleged victim and harasser while a complaint is being investigated. Necessary steps should also be taken to ensure that the employee victim is protected from retaliation for reporting sexual harassment in compliance with federal laws.
The Types of Sexual Harassment
Offensive sexual advances take many forms. In most cases, the improper behavior is obvious and calls for immediate action. However, there are instances when the harasser is so subtle that, although they make employees feel uncomfortable, they can’t exactly pinpoint the problem.
One way to know when a certain behavior is not acceptable from a legal standpoint is to understand the difference between the types of sexual harassment claims.
Quid Pro Quo
According to the law, quid pro quo refers to the practice of asking for sexual favors in exchange for certain benefits, such as a raise, a promotion or special job opportunities. Although the harasser didn’t engage in inappropriate behaviors, such as making sexually-charged jokes or offensive comments or inappropriate touching, this type of behavior classifies as sexual harassment.
It doesn’t matter if the request for sexual favors is explicit or only implicit. Quid pro quo acts range from blunt sexual assault to more subtle behaviors, such as requesting a date in exchange for information regarding a job opportunity.
Hostile Work Environment
Unwelcome sexual advances, offensive sexual remarks or any inappropriate verbal or physical, sexual conduct can create a hostile work environment. Although these parameters are pretty well-defined, the court will usually determine if a behavior classifies as harassment by trying to determine what a reasonable person would consider inappropriate conduct.
Some of the factors they take into consideration include:
- Was the misconduct verbal, physical or both?
- How frequent was it?
- How offensive was the behavior?
- Was the alleged harasser a colleague or supervisor?
- Were other persons involved in perpetrating the harassment?
- Was the harassment direct at one or more individuals?
Regardless of the type of harassment you are facing, a professional lawyer can educate you on your workplace rights and teach you how to stop the unwelcome conduct. They will give you a thorough and honest evaluation of your claim and tell you if it’s worth pursuing. They will also inform you of the different legal actions you can take to obtain justice against your harasser and receive correct compensation.