What types of behaviors are considered sexual harassment?
Many types of sexual misconduct can be considered sexual harassment, but it’s typically not just a single act: sexual harassment is a systematic and pervasive way that someone harasses another person through intimidating and threatening actions. Being sexually harassed involves someone creating a work environment that is considered hostile and prevents other employees from working productively and advancing at their positions.
Many behaviors fall under the category of sexual harassment; a few examples are lewd acts or comments, jokes based on someone’s sex, sexual innuendos, unwelcome sexual advances, touching someone without their consent, and derogatory remarks. To prove that you have been sexually harassed, you must prove that the misconduct is repetitious enough to hinder your performance and that any reasonable person would likewise be made uncomfortable. In legal terms, a “reasonable” person is a constraint used to show that any reasonable person put in the same situation would also feel uncomfortable.
It is possible that one single act might be considered sexual harassment. If a supervisor or someone in authority over your position at work alludes to a sexual request and makes it known either implicitly or explicitly that acquiescing to that request will have a direct impact on your ability to advance, that could be considered “quid pro quo” sexual harassment. In the same way, if a supervisor offers an employee to advance or a promotion based on consenting to the request for a sexual act or favor, that too would be classified as quid pro quo harassment.
Steps that you have to take to prove you are being sexually harassed
The first step to getting the harassment to stop is to make both your harasser and your supervisor aware of the sexual misconduct. Your place of business should have procedures in place to deal with claims of sexual harassment. You have to follow those steps very carefully in case it becomes necessary to prove your case in court.
It is also a good idea to hire a New Mexico sexual harassment lawyer to help protect you from any retaliation and to ensure that you are collecting the essential documentation that you might need to prove your case, should you need to initiate one either at the state or federal levels.
Is your employer liable if the harassment doesn’t stop?
If you have let both the harasser and your boss know about the sexual misconduct, filed a report in the appropriate manner, and the behavior still has not been addressed or stopped, then it might be possible to hold your employer liable in a court of law. If you can prove that your employer knew that the harassment was happening, did nothing to stop it, and that you were damaged as a result, then you might have a sexual harassment lawsuit. The only way to know for sure is to contact a New Mexico sexual harassment lawyer to go over your case with you.
If you can prove that all those conditions were in place, you might be liable to collect both compensatory and punitive damages. If you have been the victim of sexual harassment, head over to USAttorneys.com so you can connect with an experienced New Mexico sexual harassment attorney to find out what the next steps you should take to protect your position and to be fairly compensated.