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What is Sexual Harassment?
Sexual harassment is a form of discrimination under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and is considered illegal in North Carolina. As per the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), sexual harassment includes 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.” Although there are many different forms of sexual harassment, the main thing to remember is that they are all unwanted behaviors. Victims neither ask for the conduct nor welcome it. Anyone who has been victimized should seek help immediately.
Examples of Sexual Harassment in North Carolina
There are many types of behaviors that can be classified as sexual harassment. The conduct may be a series of recurring events that are relatively mild or a one-time serious transgression. The following are just some of the many actions and comments that can lead a person to become a victim of sexual harassment at work: • Joke or comment about someone’s body, clothes, sex life • Spreading rumors about a person that are sexual in nature • General lewd comment • Making obscene gestures or facial expressions • Quid pro quo (this for that) sexual requests • Stalking • Looking someone up and down • Lewd email containing sexually offensive comments or pictures • Inappropriate and unwelcome touching (i.e. hugging, kissing, groping) • Rape or attempt at rape
Victims of Sexual Harassment
Victims can be of any age, race, gender or sexual orientation, as can be the harassers. It is just as wrong for a woman to proposition a man for sex as it is for a man to proposition a woman or for same sex sexual harassment. In addition, a victim may not have to be directly affected by the inappropriate conduct in order for them to file a sexual harassment complaint. Anyone who feels offended or violated in some way due to another person’s actions at work can take action against the perpetrator.
North Carolina Sexual Harassment Laws
Sexual harassment is a violation of a person’s rights and is against both state and federal law. Anyone who has been hurt by a sexual offender has a right to seek help. If a person in North Carolina believes that they have been the victim of sexual harassment, they have 180 days from the time the incident occurred to file a claim. In addition, there are also laws that protect a victim’s job in North Carolina. A person who has brought forth sexual harassment claims may not be fired, demoted or have their job affected in any negative way. Employers in North Carolina are also responsible for conducting thorough investigations of any sexual harassment allegations and must comply with federal investigations as well. If a victim wishes, they may work with a sexual harassment attorney to file a lawsuit against the harasser.
Working with a Sexual Harassment Lawyer
Although sexual harassment at work is illegal, it happens more often than people might think. Many victims do not come forward out of fear that the offender will retaliate or because they feel embarrassed. The truth of the matter is that harassers generally won’t stop their behaviors unless something is done to stop them. They may also turn their attacks on a new victim. If you or someone you know at work has been sexually harassed, turn to a leading sexual harassment lawyer to ensure that the behaviors stop and that the offender is brought to justice. Victims of sexual harassment have a right to defend themselves against any unwelcome sexual conduct at work. No one should have to suffer in a hostile work environment due to an offender’s lack of consideration or malevolence. As a victim of sexual harassment, not only are you entitled to file a claim against the offender, but you may also be eligible to receive compensation for your pain and suffering. You may qualify for thousands, if not millions of dollars in money damages and your sexual harassment attorney will ensure that you obtain the maximum compensation possible. Don’t wait until matters get work or until a new victim gets hurt by a harasser to speak with sexual harassment lawyers about your case. Stand up for yourself and for others to ensure that the offender is stopped and held accountable for their actions. Contact the office of a top team of sexual harassment attorneys in North Carolina today to get started on your case.