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Defining Sexual Harassment in Louisiana
Sexual harassment is a form of sexual discrimination and is against the law. The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission defines sexual harassment as 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.”
The key factor to remember when determining whether an action or behavior is a form of sexual harassment is that it is unwanted and unwelcome. Victims must make it clear to their harassers that they wish for their behaviors to stop immediately and if they do not, victims may take matters up with a supervisor or take legal action.
Types of Sexual Harassment Behaviors
Sexual harassment can range from a mild joke to a serious physical attack. The harassment causes the victim to feel isolated, embarrassed and afraid at work, leading the workplace to become a place of hostility and fear. While sexual harassment can vary in nature, no act or behavior that is sexual in nature and unwanted is ok. Below are some types of sexual harassment conduct that can be found at the workplace:
• Lewd joke or comment about someone’s appearance, body, sexual orientation, sex life
• General sexual comments that can be found offensive
• Sending emails, letters or memos containing sexual content
• Putting up posters, sharing sexually offensive pictures or having a sexual screen saver on the computer
• Stalking an individual
• Blocking someone’s path
• Touching someone without their consent (i.e. hugging, kissing, fondling or groping)
• Repeatedly asking someone out on a date
• Asking someone to perform a sexual favor
• Quid pro quo (this for that) sexual requests
• Physical attack against a victim, such as rape or attempt at rape
Where can Sexual Harassment Occur?
Sexual harassment usually happens at work but can also occur at school or any other facility. Victims can be of any gender, race, ethnicity, religious background or sexual orientation and so can harassers. In addition, victims don’t have to be directly affected by someone’s unwanted sexual actions, comments or behavior in order to take action against them. A victim can be anyone that overhears a lewd comment or sees an attack and finds the behaviors offensive or violent.
Louisiana Law Against Sexual Harassment
Individuals in Louisiana who come forward with sexual harassment allegations or who cooperate with sexual harassment investigations may not have their job affected in any way. It is illegal for a person to be fired, demoted, assigned to another position or have their position impacted negatively over sexual harassment accusations. In addition, retaliation against a person who reports an incident of sexual harassment or who cooperates with an investigation is prohibited by federal law.
Anyone who has been the victim of sexual harassment is encouraged to come forward to ensure that they behaviors stop immediately. If speaking to the harasser directly doesn’t work, victims may contact a supervisor or Human Resources personnel and report the incident. If the harassment still continues, then victims may seek the help of a legal professional, such as a sexual harassment attorney to fight for their rights in court.
Working with a Sexual Harassment Lawyer in Louisiana
Working with a sexual harassment attorney in Louisiana will ensure that your rights as a victim of sexual harassment are upheld. With top legal representation, you can rest easy knowing that the perpetrator will be held accountable for their crimes and will never harm you or another victim again.
Unfortunately, many victims of sexual harassment never come forward out of fear that their harasser will worsen their actions or because they feel embarrassed. However, not doing anything about the incidents will ensure that they continue. You have a right to work in an environment that is free from sexual harassment, so contact a leading sexual harassment lawyer immediately to ensure that your rights are upheld.
Whether you have been the subject of a sexual joke, were asked to perform sexual favors or have been physically attacked by a sexual offender, employment attorneys can help you seek justice for your pain and suffering. You may be entitled to a large compensation in damages, so make sure come forward and let an acclaimed team of sexual harassment lawyers in Louisiana help you today.