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Sexual Harassment in Ohio
Ohio law strictly prohibits any form of sexual harassment at the workplace. It is a form of discrimination, as defined by Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. According to the 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.
Types of Sexual Harassment
There are two forms of sexual harassment, both illegal in the state of Ohio. The first type is “quid pro quo” harassment, which includes an offender offering a victim a promotion, raise, or any other benefit in exchange for sexual favors. The other form of sexual harassment is known as “hostile work environment.” Hostile work environment harassment in Ohio is defined as any harassment that subjects a victim to abusive treatment or that creates a negative, intimidating or frightening environment at work.
Sexual harassment in Ohio can vary in frequency and intensity. It may include anything from a lewd sexual joke to a serious physical attack. Hostile work environment harassment can involve verbal, physical or even non-verbal actions. Below are some of the many types of sexual harassment behaviors that can occur 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 or joke
• Making obscene gestures or facial expressions
• Staring at 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 and Offenders
Victims and harassers may be of any gender, race, age, sexual orientation or religious background. They may even be the same sex. A person may be harassed at work by a supervisor, co-worker or even a non-employee. Although most of the time, victims are directly affected by the unwanted conduct, a victim of sexual harassment can also be anyone that overhears a lewd comment or sees an inappropriate behavior and finds it offensive.
Sexual harassment in Ohio is against the law. In addition, the retaliation against someone who files a sexual harassment complaint or who cooperates with an investigation is also illegal. Perpetrators may be subject to legal discipline and may be ordered to pay the victim compensation for their pain and suffering.
Sexual harassment victims may contact the EEOC or the Ohio Civil Rights Commission for help in filing a formal complaint. Victims in Ohio have 180 days to from the date of the harassment to file a claim. in addition, victims may also turn to a sexual harassment lawyer for assistance in filing a lawsuit.
Working with an Ohio Sexual Harassment Lawyer
Sexual harassment at work 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. Unfortunately, harassers rarely cease their unwanted behaviors unless something is done to stop them. They may also choose to worsen their attacks or target a new victim. Everyone has a right to be protected in Ohio against sexual harassment. If you or someone you know at work has been sexually harassed, turn to a leading sexual harassment lawyer to ensure that the perpetrator is apprehended and brought to justice.
No one should ever be subjected to a work environment that is hostile or negative. As a victim of sexual harassment, not only are you entitled to file a claim against the offender to ensure that their actions are stopped, but you may also be eligible to receive compensation for your pain and suffering. You may qualify for thousands of dollars in money damages and your sexual harassment attorney will work diligently to ensure that you obtain the maximum possible compensation for the fear and pain that you have undergone.
If you wait too long to seek help, the harasser may get away with their actions or someone else may get hurt. You have a legal right to ensure that the perpetrator is held accountable for their actions. Contact the office of an acclaimed team of sexual harassment lawyers in Ohio today to get started on your case and defend your workplace against discrimination and hostility.