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What is Sexual Harassment?

Sexual harassment is a form of sexual discrimination that violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission defines sexual harassment to include any “unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature constitutes sexual harassment when submission to or rejection of this conduct explicitly or implicitly affects an individual’s employment, unreasonably interferes with an individual’s work performance or creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive work environment.”

Sexual harassment can take many forms. It can be as mild as a lewd joke to as severe as an attempt at rape. The main thing to remember is that sexual harassment is unwelcome. Below are some examples of sexual harassment:

• Joke about someone’s body, clothing or physical appearance
• General sexual commentary that is offensive to another person
• Repeatedly asking someone out on a date or for sexual favors
• Stalking
• Blocking someone’s path
• Sending sexual emails or photographs
• Looking at someone up and down
• Making obscene or inappropriate gestures or facial expressions
• Asking for someone to perform sexual favors in exchange for a promotion, raise or other benefit (Quid pro quo)
• Touching someone inappropriately and without their consent (i.e. hugging, kissing, fondling)
• Rape or attempt at rape

Victims

While the majority of victims of sexual harassment are women, anyone can be the target of sexual discrimination. Victims can be of any gender, race, age, ethnicity or sexual orientation. Victims of sexual harassment can also include not only those that are being directly affected, but also any coworker that finds the conduct offensive.

When sexual harassment occurs, victims are left feeling uneasy, embarrassed or even afraid. Their performance at work can decline and they may feel as though they have no one to turn to. It is important for victims to realize that they should never keep information about sexual harassment to themselves because perpetrators generally never cease their behaviors if left undisciplined. Victims of sexual harassment have many options and can always seek legal action if they have been suffering from someone’s unwanted sexual conduct at work.

Perpetrators

Just like anyone can be the victim of sexual harassment, so too can anyone be the harasser. The sexual offender may be a co-worker, supervisor, or even someone that does not work in the victim’s agency. A harasser may be a woman or a man and can discriminate against someone of the opposite or same sex.

Laws Against Sexual Harassment in Idaho

Victims of sexual harassment in Idaho are protected by both federal and state law. In Idaho, retaliation against an employee who either files sexual harassment charges or cooperates in a sexual harassment investigation is prohibited by law. Employers are responsible for conducting internal investigations of any sexual harassment allegations and must also cooperate with any federal investigations.

Anyone who has been harassed has the right to seek legal help. The victim should first speak directly to the offender and ensure that the harasser knows their behaviors are unwelcome. If the harasser does not stop their conduct, the victim may elevate the matter to a supervisor or Human Resources representative. If the incident is still unresolved, the victim may take legal action and contact a sexual harassment lawyer.

Working with a Sexual Harassment Attorney in Idaho

If you or someone you know at work have been the victims of sexual harassment in Idaho, turn to a skilled sexual harassment attorney for assistance immediately. As a victim of sexual harassment, you have a right to work in an environment that is free of hostility and fear. If a sexual harasser has violated those rights, you may take legal action against them, and your sexual harassment lawyer will ensure they pay for their crimes.

Sexual harassment victims may be entitled to compensation for their pain and suffering. Sexual harassment attorneys work day and night to ensure that if you have been enduring any unwelcome sexual conduct, you obtain the full spectrum of benefits you deserve. With a leading paralegal by your side, the offender will be put to justice immediately.

The longer you wait to take legal action, the more you or someone else will suffer at the hands of the harasser. Turn to an acclaimed sexual harassment lawyer as soon as possible to ensure that the behaviors top immediately and that they never happen again.

Call today to schedule an appointment with one of our paralegals near you.