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Sexual Harassment Shouldn’t Be Tolerated
Sexual harassment is an unlawful behavior that violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. However, identifying the conduct that leads to harassment isn’t always easy. For every clear-cut example of improper demeanor, numerous situations fall under a grey area.
Maybe your colleagues keep commenting on your appearance, or your boss has the habit of making sexually charged jokes that make you feel uncomfortable. How can you tell when this type of attitude has crossed the line and rose to the level of violating the law?
A qualified sexual harassment lawyer can educate you about the many faces of unwanted sexual behavior and help you take legal action against your offender. They will defend your rights and help you pursue justice.
At USAttorneys we believe that you deserve to work in a safe and lawful environment. We’ve made it our purpose to help you stand up for your rights, make your voice heard, and receive the compensation you deserve.
Still a Grim Reality of Today’s Workplace
Employees must attend training that teaches them how to prevent sexual harassment. Companies must offer proof that they’ve educated their employees on anti-harassment policies to avoid liability. However, in most instances, this type of preventive behavior isn’t effective. As a result, sexual behavior is still a fundamental problem and a grim reality of most workplace environments.
The problem is that while this type of training manages to teach employees basic information, such as how they can report violations, they promote and reinforce gender stereotypes. Thus, instead of addressing the cause of the problem, they create a breeding environment where men are portrayed as sexual predators while women are weak and vulnerable.
Educating employees on the legal standards of unwanted sexual advances is paramount. People must know what constitutes an unlawful behavior and what they should do if they’ve been the victim of it. Making employees aware of their rights and obligations are the first and crucial steps to a safe and lawful workplace environment.
However, if companies want to reduce the possibility of sexual harassment in their offices, then they must create a culture in which all employees are treated as equal, regardless of their gender, race or sexual orientation.
Companies have the obligation to create a safe and comfortable environment for their employees. If one of your colleagues or your manager is acting inappropriately, requesting sexual favors, or making offensive comments, then you have the right to file a complaint. If the company has done nothing to remedy the situation, then you should seek the counsel of a sexual harassment lawyer.
The Legal Standard
By law, sexual harassment includes any unacceptable sexual advances, request for sexual favors in exchange for certain benefits, or any verbal or physical persecution of sexual nature. It can also include offensive remarks about a person’s sex, such as making disrespectful comments about women.
Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 also states that for the behavior to become unlawful, it must be so severe that it creates a hostile work environment that affects employees’ morale and their emotional well-being.
While these legal standards can be helpful, the situation can become rather difficult to manage when you or someone around you faces such an issue.
If you suspect that you’ve been the victim of unwanted sexual advances, then a sexual harassment attorneys can instruct you on your rights and guide you in your pursuit to take legal action.
Are you or someone close to you experiencing any of the following issues?
- Sexually explicit jokes;
- Unwanted language, emails or phone calls;
- Requests for sexual favors in exchange for a raise or promotion;
- Inappropriate touching;
- Sexual Assault;
- Retaliation after filing a harassment complaint;
- Hostile workplace environment;
A specialized employment lawyer can analyze your situation and evaluate the viability of your case. By filing a suit against your harasser, you can obtain justice and the compensation you deserve. Don’t ignore improper behavior thinking that it’s just a solitary act. A single incident can create a precedent that will, eventually, lead to a negative and insecure environment.
The Types of Sexual Harassment
Offensive sexual advances take many forms. In most cases, the improper behavior is obvious and calls for immediate action. However, there are instances when the harasser is so subtle that, although they make employees feel uncomfortable, they can’t exactly pinpoint the problem.
One way to know when a certain behavior is not acceptable from a legal standpoint is to understand the difference between the types of sexual harassment claims.
Quid Pro Quo
According to the law, quid pro quo refers to the practice of asking for sexual favors in exchange for certain benefits, such as a raise, a promotion or special job opportunities. Although the harasser didn’t engage in inappropriate behaviors, such as making sexually-charged jokes or offensive comments or inappropriate touching, this type of behavior classifies as sexual harassment.
It doesn’t matter if the request for sexual favors is explicit or only implicit. Quid pro quo acts range from blunt sexual assault to more subtle behaviors, such as requesting a date in exchange for information regarding a job opportunity.
Hostile Work Environment
Unwelcome sexual advances, offensive sexual remarks or any inappropriate verbal or physical, sexual conduct can create a hostile work environment. Although these parameters are pretty well-defined, the court will usually determine if a behavior classifies as harassment by trying to determine what a reasonable person would consider inappropriate conduct.
Some of the factors they take into consideration include:
Was the misconduct verbal, physical or both?
How frequent was it?
How offensive was the behavior?
Was the alleged harasser a colleague or supervisor?
Were other persons involved in perpetrating the harassment?
Was the harassment direct at one or more individuals?
Regardless of the type of harassment you are facing, a professional lawyer can educate you on your workplace rights and teach you how to stop the unwelcome conduct. They will give you a thorough and honest evaluation of your claim and tell you if it’s worth pursuing. They will also inform you of the different legal actions you can take to obtain justice against your harasser and receive correct compensation.