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What Qualifies as Sexual Harassment in Charlotte?

— March 1, 2022

You need to inform your employer, in writing so you have proof they were aware of your situation.

Charlotte, NC – Sexual harassment is illegal in North Carolina under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, as well as under the NC Equal Employment Practices Act. Whether you work in a public or private business, you have the right to a safe workplace, free from sexual harassment. Unfortunately, you sometimes have to fight for your rights as sexual harassment is still rife in many North Carolina business entities. If you’re dealing with such problems in your place of work, the best thing you can do is look up the best Charlotte sexual harssment lawyers and find out how you can fight back.

What constitutes sexual harassment in Charlotte, NC?

Before you file a complaint, you need to make sure you have a case. Experienced North Carolina sexual harassment lawyers will listen to your story and determine if you have enough evidence and how to proceed.

According to the law, sexual harassment is any type of unwanted physical touch or sexual advance. Verbal harassment includes sexist or sexually-charged jokes, sexual innuendos, lewd comments about your body, or questions of an intimate nature.

Sexually-suggestive gestures also constitute harassment and so does the display of pornographic images around the office. If your coworkers send you sex jokes or pornographic images via email or messaging apps, that is also harassment if you make it clear you do not enjoy this sort of material. 

However, you need to keep in mind that the law does not penalize teasing or offhand comments. Also, a single incident cannot be viewed as sexual harassment.

If you want to file a complaint, your sexual harassment lawyers will have to prove that the offensive conduct was of a pervasive nature and severe enough to cause you mental anguish and interfere with your job performance.

Women laughing and talking outside during daytime; image by Priscilla Du Preez, via
Women laughing and talking outside during daytime; image by Priscilla Du Preez, via

If, for instance, someone once made a sexual joke it cannot be considered harassment no matter how offensive it was to you. On the other hand, if your coworkers routinely make this type of joke and use derogatory terms when referring to women, this type of conduct amounts to the creation of a hostile work environment and you have every right to file a complaint. Likewise. If someone accidentally brushes against you touching your breasts or buttocks, it is not harassment. If they do that every time you walk into the room, this can be considered sexual harassment.

How to report sexual harassment in Charlotte?

First of all, you need to inform your employer, in writing so you have proof they were aware of your situation. The employer is required to investigate your complaint promptly. If you want, your lawyers can represent you during the investigation. Next, your employer must inform you of their findings and present the disciplinary actions taken to put an end to your torment. If you don’t hear from your employer and nothing happens, your lawyers will help you file an official complaint. 

Keep in mind that the Civil Rights Act protects against discrimination people working in companies with 15 or more employees, which allows you to file a complaint with the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. If you work in a company with less than 15 employees, you should file a complaint with a state agency. 

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