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Sexual Harassment in Rhode Island
In Rhode Island, any unwelcome behavior, including verbal, written, visual, or physical action that is sexual in nature is considered to be a form of sexual harassment. Considered a form of discrimination, sexual harassment creates a hostile work environment in which the victim does not feel comfortable or safe and their performance at work becomes compromised. Victims must let the harasser know that their conduct is unwelcome, and if the offender persists, victims may file a formal complaint or lawsuit.
Examples of Sexual Harassment at the Workplace
There are several different types of sexual harassment behaviors, which vary in severity and frequency. Victims may suffer a series of milder transgressions or be subjected to a one-time severe action. The following are examples of conduct that may be considered sexual harassment in Rhode Island:
• Verbal sexual harassment: Joke or comment about a person’s physical appearance, clothing, lewd sexual comments in general, quid pro quo (this for that) requests, or repeatedly asking a person out on a date or for sexual favors.
• Non-verbal sexual harassment: Includes looking at someone up and down, stalking, or making obscene gestures or facial expressions.
• Written sexual harassment: Involves any written document, letter, memo, or email that is unwanted and sexual in nature.
• Visual sexual harassment: Includes any pictures, photos or screen savers that are sexually offensive or inappropriate.
• Physical sexual harassment: Any unwanted touching (i.e. kissing, hugging, or fondling) as well as aggressive or violent behavior, such as rape or attempt at rape.
Who can be a Sexual Harassment Victim?
Although the victims of sexual harassment are stereotyped as female, in reality, anyone can become a target of sexual harassment. Victims and harassers may be of any gender, age, race and sexual orientation. In addition, victims can also be people who are not directly affected by the conduct. Anyone who overhears a lewd joke or witnesses inappropriate behavior may file a formal complaint of sexual harassment. Although it may be hard for victims to come forward, it is important to know that sexual harassment victims in Rhode Island have rights and are entitled to come forward to ensure that the conduct stops.
Laws Against Sexual Harassment in Rhode Island
As a form of workplace discrimination, sexual harassment is against the law in Rhode Island and those who are found guilty will be disciplined. It is also against the law in Rhode Island to fire someone, demote them or affect their job in any negative way over a rejection of sexual advances, accusations of sexual harassment or cooperation in a sexual harassment investigation. Employers in Rhode Island are responsible for conducting an investigation for each sexual harassment claim that is brought forward and must cooperate with any federal investigations. They are required to keep matters as private as possible. Anyone who is accused of sexual harassment must comply with the investigation procedure and answer any and all questions honestly and to the best of their knowledge.
Seeking Help from a Rhode Island Sexual Harassment Attorney
Sexual harassment at work happens more often than anyone would like to believe. Although they may feel embarrassed or scared to come forward, victims of sexual harassment have a legal right to a safe workplace that is free from hostility, intimidation and violence. If you or someone you know at work has been suffering due to unwanted sexual conduct, seek the help of a leading Rhode Island sexual harassment lawyer immediately.
If left alone, sexual offenders rarely ever stop the harassment and may even turn to other victims. Harassers don’t care about anyone’s rights or feelings and will continue with their behaviors unless something is done to stop them. By working with a top sexual harassment attorney in Rhode Island, you can make sure that the harasser is put to justice and never hurts you or another victim again.
Victims of sexual harassment in Rhode Island not only have a legal right to feel safe at work, but they may also be entitled to compensation for their pain and suffering. With a skilled team of sexual harassment lawyers on your side, you can rest assured that you will obtain the maximum possible benefits and money damages you deserve.
Don’t let the offender get away with their actions. Defend your rights and protect your job from unwanted sexual conduct. Contact a skilled employment attorney in Rhode Island today to file a claim.