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Sexual Harassment Defined
In Pennsylvania, sexual harassment includes any unwelcome conduct, be it verbal or physical, that is of a sexual nature. It is considered a form of sexual discrimination as per Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and is against the law. Sexual harassment causes victims to feel insecure, threatened and afraid at work and may interfere with their performance. It is important for victims to know that help is available to them and they don’t have to suffer in a hostile work environment. Sexual harassment victims have a right to come forward and ensure that the perpetrator is apprehended.
Types of Sexual Harassment in Pennsylvania
There are many different sexual harassment incidents that can occur at a workplace. The following are a few examples of sexual harassment behavior in Pennsylvania:
• Joke about someone’s body, clothing, physical appearance, sexual orientation or sex life
• General lewd comments
• Repeatedly asking someone out on a date or for sexual favors
• Sending inappropriate and sexual emails, letters or notes
• Making obscene or inappropriate gestures or facial expressions
• Quid pro quo (this for that) requests
• Touching someone inappropriately and without their consent, such as hugging, kissing, groping, or fondling
• Aggressive behavior, such as rape or attempt at rape
Victims and Offenders
Both the victims and offenders of sexual harassment can be of any gender, age, race, religion or sexual orientation. In addition, victims and offenders may be of the same sex. Harassers can be supervisors, co-workers or may not even be employed at the specific workplace in which the unwanted conduct is happening. Offenders can choose to attack one victim only or may attack several.
Victims of sexual harassment don’t’ have to be directly affected by the unwanted conduct in order to file a formal complaint. A victim can be someone that overheard another person making a sexual comment or witnessed inappropriate sexual behaviors and took offense.
Sexual Harassment Laws in Pennsylvania
Sexual harassment is against the law in Pennsylvania, and anyone who is accused and found guilty of unwanted sexual behaviors will be put to justice. In Pennsylvania, it is also illegal for anyone to have their job affected in anyway due to sexual harassment allegations. An employee may not be fired, demoted, reassigned to another position or have their position be affected negatively if they file a sexual harassment complaint, refuse someone’s advances or participate in a sexual harassment investigation.
In Pennsylvania, all employees have a right to a workplace that is free of discrimination and hostility. When that right is compromised, victims can take action to ensure that the sexual perpetrator is stopped. If talking to the harasser doesn’t work, victims may elevate the matter to a supervisor or Human Resources representative. If the issue remains unresolved, victims may file a case with the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission within 180 days of the sexual harassment conduct or may also turn to a sexual harassment lawyer.
Working with a Sexual Harassment Lawyer
The victims of sexual harassment in Pennsylvania are entitled to seek legal help. Everyone in the state is entitled to a workplace that is free of hostility. If you or someone you know at work is suffering because of unwanted sexual conduct, turn to a leading sexual harassment attorney right away.
Although all sexual harassment victims in Pennsylvania are entitled to seek help, unfortunately, not all victims of sexual harassment come forward because they may be afraid or the harasser or may feel embarrassed. However, not saying anything about the situation will only make matters worse for the victim or may even lead the harasser to turn their attacks on a new victim.
Sexual harassment attorneys understand that it is difficult to talk about the incidents and do whatever it takes to make the victims feel as comfortable as possible. If you have a top sexual harassment lawyer working on your case, you can rest assured that the perpetrator will be put to justice and the unwanted conduct will not happen again.
As a victim of sexual harassment, you may also be entitled to claim benefits for your pain and suffering. Your paralegal will ensure that you obtain the maximum money damages possible after suffering from sexual harassment. Don’t wait any longer to contact a skilled team of sexual harassment lawyers in Pennsylvania to file a claim and fight for your rights.