Sexual Harassment Lawyers
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What Is Sexual Harassment?
Sexual harassment is a type of employment discrimination consisting of unwanted sexual advances, sexual conduct, or other verbal or physical actions of a sexual nature, usually at the workplace.
Conduct that is Considered sexual harassment includes:
- Direct sexual conduct by employer: Overt sexual remarks or sexual advances made by an employer toward his or her employees are, obviously, considered sexual harassment.
- Quid pro quo sexual harassment: Another type of sexual harassment involves an employer basing employment decisions on satisfaction of a sexual demand. Negotiating the terms of employment in exchange for sexual conduct or demoting an employee who refuses the employer’s sexual demands are examples of quid pro quo harassment.
- Hostile work environment sexual harassment: A work environment where an employee is subject to severe or pervasive verbal or physical sexual behavior is another type of sexual harassment. Employers are required to keep the work environment free from sexual harassment and may be held liable if the conduct of their employees create a hostile work environment.
- Stereotypes: Sexual harassment based on stereotypes typically involves an employer, co-worker, or supervisor harassing and employee who fails to conform to typical male or female stereotypes.
Who Is Protected under Sexual Harassment Laws?
Sexual harassment laws protect:
- Female employees harassed by male employers, supervisors, or co-workers.
- Male employees harassed by female employers, supervisors, or co-workers.
- Male or female employees harassed by employers, supervisors, or co-workers of their own sex, in certain situations. “Same-sex sexual harassment” is usually a result of the harasser's belief that the individual does not conform to a sexual stereotype.
Sexual Harassment Policies
Employers are usually required to post policies regarding sexual harassment in the workplace. These policies should address:
- To whom an employee report sexual harassment
- The procedures for the employer's investigation of sexual harassment claims
- Corrective measures where the sexual harassment claim is confirmed
Protection against Sexual Harassment - State and Federal Laws
Both federal and state laws prohibit harassment in employment on the basis of sex or gender. Both the federal government and states have created agencies that investigate harassment claims and enforce the laws prohibiting sexual harassment.
- Federal Law: The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) enforces Federal sex discrimination and harassment laws by investigating claims of discrimination and harassment in the employment context. Generally, in order to file a lawsuit in Federal court, an employee must first file a claim with the EEOC within 180 days of the conduct.
- State Law: Many states also have their own laws to regulate sexual harassment in employment and agencies to enforce these laws. State deadlines for filing claims vary.
- Retaliation: Employers are prohibited from taking a negative employment action against an employee because he or she reports sexual harassment or participates in a sexual harassment investigation. Such negative employment actions include demotions, decrease in pay, firing, and restricting benefits.
Do I Need a Sexual Harassment Attorney?
Both investigating and proving a sexual harassment claim can be difficult. An employment lawyer can help you file within the deadlines for sexual harassment claims appropriate to your state. Additionally, the EEOC investigators are often overworked and cannot investigate your claim immediately. A lawyer will help you investigate your claim and inform you of the various options you can pursue.
Consult a Lawyer - Present Your Case Now!
Last Modified: 09-16-2014 04:13 PM PDT
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