Workplace harassment is illegal under both federal and state law. Unfortunately, sexual harassment is still a major problem in the workplace. At Charles W. Miller & Associates, we have successfully represented clients who have had to endure sexual harassment in the workplace, either by a co-worker, a manager, or another person.
If you are the victim of workplace sexual harassment or discrimination, you have rights. Our Louisville sexual harassment attorneys can help you fight to protect those rights. Get in touch with us today to learn more.
What Is Quid Pro Quo?
“Quid pro quo” is defined as “something for something” it is a type of sexual harassment. It is when sexual favors or contact become:
- A precondition to sustain your job,
- To get a raise or promotion,
- Or as any other part of an employee’s job
Quid pro quo begins from supervisors or managers and is an imbalance of power that in affect creates a hostile work environment for employees.
If you believe you have been coerced by someone in your workplace to provide sexual favors to maintain your job, do not hesitate to contact our Louisville sexual harassment attorney at Charles W. Miller & Associates. We are here to help with your best interests in mind. Call us today.
Types of Workplace Sexual Harassment
There are generally two types of sexual harassment: quid pro quo and hostile environment.
Quid pro quo sexual harassment is the most commonly recognized form of sexual harassment. It occurs when one or both of the following are true:
- A person’s job benefits—including employment, promotion, salary increases, shift or work assignments, performance expectations, and other conditions of employment—are made contingent on the provision of sexual favors, usually to an employer, supervisor, or agent of the employer who has the authority to make decisions about employment actions.
- The rejection of a sexual advance or request for sexual favors results in a tangible employment detriment, typically a loss of a job benefit of the kind described in the first point above.
The fact that an employee may have given in to those demands does not mean there is not a case. The key is that the sexual advances are unwanted.
Hostile environment sexual harassment occurs when the working environment is made hostile because of its sexual nature. An employee may have a claim for hostile environment sexual harassment if the employee is subject to a pattern of exposure to unwanted sexual behavior from the employee’s supervisor or persons other than an employee's direct supervisor where supervisors or managers take no steps to discourage or discontinue such behavior. Such unwanted sexual behavior can include making the working environment intolerable by sharing sexual photographs, making certain comments or jokes, or other acts of an offensive sexual nature, including physical touching.
How to Prove Sexual Harassment
To prove a sexual harassment claim, you must provide supporting evidence that meets specific legal requirements. These requirements vary depending on your state and if you were harassed by a supervisor, co-worker, or another associate at work.
The evidence required for a sexual harassment case is:
- A record of communication from the harasser. This includes emails, voicemails, text messages, etc. Note that communication did not have to occur at the workplace. It could also be communication you received outside of work hours or the workplace from the harasser.
- A record of your complaint to the company and the company’s response (or lack of).
- Your employment file.
- Your employee handbook and your employer’s sexual harassment policy.
- Testimonies from witnesses.
- Photos or videos of incidents.
- Bills or other proof of expenses related to harassment.
Be sure to never lose sight of your original records; always provide copies. If you do not have a witness with you and an incident occurred, make note of it -- including the date, time, and what was said or what happened.
Your Employer Cannot Legally Retaliate against You for Reporting Sexual Harassment
Employees often fear that employers will retaliate against them for complaints of sexual harassment. However, both federal laws and state laws in Kentucky and Indiana protect employees from retaliation with adverse employment action after complaining of sexual harassment. This does not mean that retaliation does not still occur. Any retaliation, including wrongful termination, by your supervisor should also be immediately reported to another member of management.
Let Our Firm Fight for You
Sexual harassment and retaliation are serious. No one should have to work in such an environment. If you are being subjected to sexual harassment in the workplace, it is in your best interests to take the proper legal action. While it can be difficult to speak up about sexual harassment, having an attorney on your side can allow you to ensure your rights are protected and help you recover lost wages and more.
Contact a Louisville sexual harassment attorney at Charles W. Miller & Associates to discuss your legal options and take steps to protect yourself from sexual harassment.
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