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What Behaviors Make an Employer in Michigan Liable for Sexual Harassment?

— September 7, 2022

There are various forms of compensation that will need to be paid to victims if their lawsuit is successful.

Detroit, MI  Employers should be aware that they will be named as a defendant in a lawsuit where there are allegations of sexual harassment at their workplace. Allegations of harassment also tend to generate negative publicity for any workplace that can damage their reputation. For these reasons, each workplace should be aware of the types of harassment that can cause problems and result in legal action. Additional advice about any of these areas can be obtained from an attorney in Michigan who deals with labor and employment matters. 

Quid pro quo

This serious type of harassment is when a worker’s boss or supervisor requests some kind of sexual conduct. This is generally done in exchange for benefits, continued employment, or when a prospective employee is seeking a job offer. The employer can be held responsible for allowing management to engage in this kind of illegal behavior and violation of sexual harassment laws. Employers should train management to not use gender or sex in any adverse decisions made against a worker, and their position of authority cannot be abused in this manner. 

Hostile work environment

Former Carta Inc. Employee Files Gender Discrimination Lawsuit
Photo by Samantha Sophia on Unsplash

All workers are protected from constantly being mistreated due to their gender or sex. These kinds of allegations generally require multiple instances of unfair treatment for the elements of a hostile work environment claim to be met. This may include excessive jokes at the person’s expense, constant sexual or romantic advances, or forms of bullying that are due to gender. If a reasonable person would have their ability to perform at work affected by these actions, there is a case for a hostile work environment. 

Harassment by customers

Certain industries have employees who have to deal with customers or clients each day. Employers are responsible for ensuring that their employees do not have to deal with constant harassment when they are trying to work. This is most common in industries such as retail, food and beverage service, customer service, and healthcare. The worker may have a legitimate claim if the employer is aware of problems with clients or customers, and they do not take steps to remedy the situation.

Damages for victims

There are various forms of compensation that will need to be paid to victims if their lawsuit is successful. This can include costs of finding new employment, lost income or wages, and the costs of any psychological treatment if the victim’s mental health has been affected.

More information about labor and employment law in Michigan is a site that lists lawyers in various cities around the country, including Detroit. Anyone who needs to find an employment lawyer can use the directory to find a professional who matches their needs. 

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