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Sexual Harassment in Washington
Sexual harassment includes any unwelcome and unwanted conduct of a sexual nature. It is considered a form of discrimination under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Formally, The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOX) defines sexual harassment in the following way: “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
In Washington, sexual harassment is divided into two categories: quid pro quo and hostile work environment sexual harassment.
Quid pro quo sexual harassment (this for that) involves one person offering benefits to another in exchange for sexual favors. The benefits are usually related to the victim’s job, and can include a raise, promotion or other benefit related to the workplace. In order for conduct to be considered quid pro quo, the victim must have made sexual advances or requests that were unwelcome and the victim must have rejected the advances.
Hostile work environment sexual harassment includes any unwelcome conduct (physical, verbal, non-verbal) which creates a problem for the victim at work. Hostile work environment harassment makes the victim feel uneasy, intimidated or afraid to come to work and may lead to a decline in their performance. Some examples of hostile work environment sexual harassment include making jokes that are sexual in nature, looking at someone up and down in a sexual way, making inappropriate gestures or physically attacking someone, as in rape or attempt at rape.
Victims and Harassers
The victims of sexual harassment can be of any sex, age, race, ethnicity, religious background, or sexual orientation, and so can harassers. The victim and offender can even be of the same sex. In addition, victims don’t even have to be directly affected by the perpetrator’s actions to file sexual harassment charges. A victim can be someone who overhears a lewd comment or witnesses inappropriate behavior and takes offense.
Offenders can be supervisors, co-workers, temporary employees or even non-employees. There may be one harasser to one victim, multiple harassers or multiple victims. No harasser cares about the victim’s feelings, so they will most likely continue their behavior unless they are stopped.
It is important for victims to know that they are not alone. Laws in Washington protect victims against workplace discrimination and unwanted sexual conduct. Anyone who has been targeted by an offender should seek legal help right away.
Sexual Harassment Laws in Washington
Sexual harassment allegations are taken very seriously in Washington. The victims are entitled to file a complaint and seek legal action if they so choose. In addition, victims are also protected against the retaliation of an employee or employer. No one in Washington may be fired, demoted, or have their position affected in any negative way after rejecting someone’s sexual advances, filing a complaint or participating in an investigation.
Hiring a Sexual Harassment Lawyer
Any individual that has been subjected to sexual harassment in Washington may solicit the help of a sexual harassment lawyer. Victims of sexual harassment deserve to work in an environment that is free from hostility, intimidation and fear, and sexual harassment lawyers aim to do just that. They will see to it that the offender does not harm the victim again nor target another person in the future. If you or someone you know has been targeted by a sexual offender, turn to a leading sexual harassment attorney to ensure that your case will end with the best possible outcome.
As a victim of sexual harassment, you may be eligible to receive compensation for your pain and suffering. Sexual harassment can lead a person to feel insecure, embarrassed or afraid. Sexual harassment lawyers do whatever it takes to make sure that you as a victim receive the maximum possible money damages after suffering unwanted sexual conduct at work.
Even though victims in Washington have a right to come forward, there are victims that do not speak up because they are either embarrassed or afraid that the harasser will retaliate. Unfortunately, by not saying anything, this almost always ensures that the offender continues with their behavior. Victims should not wait until matters escalate or until a new victim is targeted. Speak to a renowned sexual harassment attorney immediately to fight for your rights.