While workplace sexual harassment is illegal under both federal and state laws, many employees still experience sexual harassment in the workplace, often at the hands of their employer. Sexual harassment takes many different forms, and can be physical, verbal, visual, electronic, and more.
If you have experienced workplace sexual harassment, you may report it without fearing any negative employment action from your employer. Learn more about your rights as an employee and how to take action against perpetrators of workplace sexual harassment.
Your Rights as an Employee
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 protects employees from discrimination at the hands of their employer on the basis of race, age, sex (and pregnancy), religion, and more. Title VII also prohibits workplace sexual harassment in organizations with 15 or more employees, including state and local governments and employment agencies.
Many employees are hesitant to report workplace sexual harassment due to fear of retaliation from their employer. It’s important to keep in mind that federal and state laws protect you from any negative employment action from your employer for reporting sexual harassment.
If you reported workplace sexual harassment and you were fired, demoted, or experienced some other negative employment consequence, you may be able to recover back pay and future pay from your employer with the help of an experienced employment law attorney.
What Constitutes Workplace Sexual Harassment?
Sexual harassment includes unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other conduct of a sexual nature when this conduct affects a person’s employment, interferes with their work performance, or creates a hostile work environment.
Examples of workplace sexual harassment may include, but are not limited to, the following:
A person’s job benefits are made contingent on the provision of sexual favors.
The rejection of a sexual advance or request for sexual favors results in a tangible employment detriment.
Even if an employee gave into the aforementioned demands, it does not mean there is not a case. The fact that the demands were presented in the first place constitutes a valid sexual harassment claim.
Reporting Workplace Sexual Harassment
In order to file a valid sexual harassment claim, the following can be true:
The victim, as well as the harasser, may be a woman or a man. The victim does not have to be of the opposite sex.
The harasser can be the victim's supervisor, a supervisor in another area, or a co-worker.
The victim does not have to be the person harassed but could be anyone affected by the offensive conduct.
Unlawful sexual harassment may occur without economic injury to or discharge of the victim.
The harasser's conduct must be unwelcome.
To report sexual harassment in the workplace, follow your organization’s reporting procedures. If you feel pressured or face intimidation or threats while trying to report sexual harassment, contact our qualified employment law attorneys immediately.
In addition to following your workplace’s reporting procedures, you should also file a report with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) within 180 days of the date of the incident. During its investigation, the EEOC will analyze the circumstances and nature of the sexual advances and the context in which the incidents occurred.
Experienced Workplace Sexual Harassment? We’re Here to Help
If you have experienced sexual harassment in your workplace, it may seem overwhelming to take on your employer. At Charles W. Miller & Associates, our Louisville attorneys specialize in this area of law and we’re here to help you. We can ensure everything is filed properly and that you have the best possible chance at maximum recovery.
Contact us today at (502) 890-9954 to learn how we can assist you.