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Defining Sexual Harassment
Sexual harassment includes any unwelcome and unwanted conduct that is sexual in nature. It is considered a form of discrimination under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. 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.”
Sexual harassment can be anything from a lewd joke to a severe attack. The severity and frequency of sexual harassment instances vary from workplace to workplace but the important thing to remember is that victims have rights. Anyone who has been the target of sexual harassment should come forward to ensure that the perpetrator is stopped and put to justice.
Examples of Sexual Harassment
Sexual harassment can include a series of minor and relatively mild transgressions or one single severe attack. Sexual harassment creates a hostile work environment, in which the victim may feel scared, intimidated or embarrassed and is unable to carry out their regular job activities. The victim’s performance suffers and they may feel as though there is no one to turn to. if you or someone you know has experienced any of the following behaviors or conduct, seek help immediately:
• Lew jokes regarding a person’s appearance or body
• Comments that are sexual in nature and offensive
• Quid pro quo (this for that) sexual requests, in which someone is offered a benefit in exchange for sexual favors
• Inappropriate touching, which includes hugging, kissing, groping, or fondling
• Blocking another person
• Email, memo or letter that is sexual in nature
• Photographs that are sexually inappropriate
• Constant propositions for a date/sex
• Physical attack (hitting, shoving, rape)
Victims of Sexual Harassment
Although the majority of sexual harassment victims are women, anyone can be the target of unwanted sexual advances. Victims may be men or women, of any age, race, religious background or sexual orientation, and so can the harassers.. In addition, victims do not have to be directly affected by the sexual behaviors in order to file a complaint. Anyone that is offended by a co-worker’s actions may file sexual harassment charges.
Missouri Sexual Harassment Laws
Missouri state law defines sexual harassment as a form of sexual discrimination, and is therefore, against the law. In Missouri, it is against the law for an employer to terminate another employee because of sexual harassment complaints, sex, gender, pregnancy, age or other discriminatory factor.
Anyone who is terminated, demoted or has had their job affected negatively in any way may be eligible to receive compensation and damages. Employees may be able to negotiate a severance pay with employers but since an employer in Missouri is not required to give severance pay unless it is stipulated in their contract, matters can get very delicate.
Victims of sexual harassment are encouraged to seek legal help to ensure that they obtain their rightful benefits. Sexual harassment attorneys are able to deal with each type of case on an individual basis and will be able to help clients fight for their rights.
Working with a Sexual Harassment Lawyer in Missouri
Since sexual harassment is considered a form of discrimination at the workplace, any unwanted sexual conduct or behavior that occurs at work is a violation of a person’s rights. If you or someone you know has been targeted by a sexual offender in Missouri, speak to a leading sexual harassment attorney right away.
Unfortunately, many sexual harassment victims don’t come forward because they are afraid that the perpetrator will retaliate or because they are embarrassed. However, doing nothing about the situation will guarantee that it continues and that the harasser will probably turn to another victim as well. Sexual harassment lawyers are here to support victims and encourage them to stand up for their rights. With a leading legal representative on your side, you can rest assured that the harasser will be put to justice and will never harm you or another person at the workplace again.
Speak to a skilled team of sexual harassment attorneys in Missouri to ensure that your rights are upheld and that you obtain the full spectrum of benefits you deserve for your pain and suffering. No matter how mild or how severe the incident, you have a legal right to ensure that your workplace is free from hostility and negativity. Contact an acclaimed sexual harassment lawyer in Missouri today to get started on your case.