FAQ: Dealing with Sexual Harassment in the Workplace

upset woman at work

Dealing with sexual harassment in the workplace is an overwhelming experience. Thankfully, there are state and federal laws that protect you from sexual harassment in the workplace. By taking action against your employer or coworker, you can get compensation for their wrongdoing, and prevent it from happening to someone else.

To help you get started on your sexual harassment claim, our team at Charles W. Miller & Associates has answered some of the most common questions asked about sexual harassment in the workplace.

What should I do if I think I am being sexually harassed at work?

If you believe you are experiencing sexual harassment at work, you should make it clear that the individual’s inappropriate behavior is unwelcome. Make sure to firmly refuse any invitations for dates or other indications of inappropriate behavior.

You should also report the incidents to your employer. Once you notify your employer, they will be legally responsible for the co-worker or supervisor’s sexual conduct and will be required to initiate an investigation.

What constitutes a sexual harassment claim?

There are generally two types of sexual harassment: quid pro quo and hostile environment. Quid pro quo occurs when a person requires sexual favors in exchange for job benefits. For example, if an employer promises you a promotion in exchange for sexual favors, it would be considered pro quo. The same goes for denying employment benefits when an employee refuses to participate in sexual favors.

A hostile environment occurs when the working environment is made hostile because of its sexual nature. For example, if a co-worker makes offensive sexual comments or tries to make physical contact, it would be considered a hostile environment.

Can I lose my job for filing a sexual harassment claim?

No, Title VII expressly forbids an employer from retaliating against an individual for speaking out against harassment or filing a charge of harassment.

I already filed a sexual harassment complaint to my company, but they didn’t do anything. What should I do now?

If the prior complaint was not investigated at all, return to the person or department to whom you previously complained and find out why your complaint was not investigated. If your employer doesn’t take action and the sexual harassment continues, you should speak with an experienced attorney to file a claim.

I filed a complaint at work but my employer retaliated against me. What should I do?

Any retaliation, including wrongful termination by your supervisor, should also be immediately reported to another member of management. You should also speak with an experienced employment law attorney to seek compensation for your employer’s wrongdoing.

Contact us today at (502) 890-9954 to schedule a consultation!

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