Sexual harassment is classified by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, EEOC, as a form of sexual harassment. If you are the victim of sexual harassment or sexual abuse in the workplace, you have important rights that you must take action to protect. With this in mind, there are some key facts you need to bear in mind in regard to workplace sexual harassment.
Most Commonplace Forms of Workplace Sexual Harassment
Workplace sexual harassment and workplace sexual abuse can come in a myriad of different forms. Some of the most commonplace types of workplace sexual harassment and sexual abuse include:
- Unwelcome sexual advances
- Requests for sexual favors
- Verbal comments of a sexual nature
- Physical conduct of a sexual nature
- Jokes of a sexual nature
Sexual Harassment, Sexual Abuse, and the Creation of a Hostile Work Environment
Workplace sexual harassment or workplace sexual abuse can rise to the level that it creates what legally is known as a hostile work environment. A hostile work environment is one in which sexually harassing or sexually abusive conduct negatively or severely impacts an employee’s ability to undertake job duties or responsibilities.
Circumstances in Which Workplace Sexual Harassment or Workplace Sexual Abuse Arises
Workplace sexual harassment and workplace sexual abuse can arise in a variety of circumstances. These include, but are not limited to:
- A victim of workplace sexual harassment or workplace sexual abuse can be a man or woman. (A victim can identify gender in another way as well.)
- A victim of sexual harassment or sexual abuse can be of the same gender as the perpetrator or of a different gender.
- A perpetrator of sexual harassment can be an employee’s:
- Agent of employer
- Supervisor in another area
- Non-employee (like a customer or client)
- A victim of workplace sexual harassment need not be the direct target of harassment or abuse but is a person who is affected by the complained of offensive conduct
- Workplace sexual harassment or workplace sexual abuse need not result in financial harm to the victim
- Workplace sexual harassment or workplace sexual abuse need not result in employment termination of the victim
- Perpetrator of workplace sexual harassment or workplace sexual abuse must engage in conduct unwelcome by a victim
Employer Knowledge of Misconduct
A victim of workplace sexual harassment or workplace sexual abuse needs to report the misconduct to a supervisor, to the human relations department or manager, or to an appropriately designated person within the company. In order for an employer to be held responsible for workplace sexual harassment or abuse, the employer needs to have knowledge of the misconduct.
If an employer has actual knowledge of sexual harassment or sexual abuse, an employer has a legal duty to take affirmative action to stop the inappropriate conduct. An employer cannot necessarily hide behind a contention that the enterprise management was unaware of the conduct.
An employer can be held responsible for workplace sexual harassment and workplace sexual abuse if management reasonably should have been aware of what was transpiring. In other words, if a similarly situated employer would have known of sexual harassment or sexual abuse in the workplace, a business where this type of misconduct is occurring would be deemed to be liable for the illicit conduct.
Protecting Your Legal Rights as a Victim of Workplace Sexual Harassment or Workplace Sexual Abuse
If you are the victim of workplace sexual harassment or workplace sexual abuse, the experienced legal team at The Doan Law Firm is here for you. You can schedule an appointment with a caring, capable, tenacious Doan Law Firm workplace sexual harassment lawyer or workplace sexual abuse attorney any time of the day or night by calling (800) 349-0000.
A nationwide law firm, we have offices located from coast to coast in the United States. You can schedule an initial consultation with a workplace sexual harassment attorney or workplace sexual abuse lawyer at any one of our 40 offices, at your home, or at any location convenient for you. We can also arrange a virtual consultation online as well. There is never a charge for an initial consultation with one of our workplace sexual harassment lawyers or workplace sexual abuse attorneys.
The Doan Law Firm makes an attorney fee promise to you. We never charge an attorney fee unless we win your case for you.