Workplace Sexual Harassment

Sexual harassment at work is inappropriate and illegal. Federal law defines two types of workplace sexual harassment.

1. Quid Pro: This type of harassment occurs when an employer/decision maker promises benefits, or threatens to terminate an employee based on sexual favors.

2. Hostile Environment: This type of sexual harassment creates an unpleasant or hostile work environment.

Employers are Responsible for Bad Workplace Behavior

Employers are responsible to have procedures in place that define, discourage, and counter workplace sexual harassment. Mandatory training programs and a zero tolerance standards reduce sexual harassment incidents. 

Employers are responsible for the behavior tolerated at work, including sexual harassment.

Several laws protect employees from workplace sexual harassment.

Repeated unwanted or unwelcome touching is a form of workplace sexual harassment.

Sexual harassment includes verbal, physical, or visual sexual misconduct that is pervasive and unwanted. Inappropriate touching, sexual bullying, sexual confiding, and stalking all constitute as sexual harassment. Following are examples of behaviors that may constitute sexual harassment:

  • Making offensive comments of a sexual nature or any unwelcome sexual comments, even without harassing requests
  • Hanging offensive signs in cubicles or workrooms depicting pornography or containing obscenities
  • Ignoring or not responding to employees complaints of sexual harassment
  • Groping
  • Discrimination against female employees on the basis of pregnancy or the imagined likelihood of pregnancy

Inappropriate behavior that is committed and tolerated by supervisors or co-workers leave targeted employees with a good harassment case, particularly if there is no prevention and training program in place. 

The courts look to a variety of factors to determine if conduct is severe enough and well-established to tolerate or encourage sexual harassment. The environment must be one that a reasonable person would find hostile or abusive, and one that a victim in fact did feel so.

The law protects both private and public employees as well as employees of labor organizations. Furthermore, if the sexual harassment in question resulted in a job loss,  there may be an additional wrongful termination claim to pursue.

Do you Have A Workplace Sexual Harassment Case?

I can evaluate your harassment claim, including an investigation, workplace response, and company anti-harassment policies/procedures to determine if you have a viable compliant. If you feel you have been victimized by sexual harassment or are forced to work to a hostile work environment, please contact my office for a consultation.