Accusations of sexual harassment routinely tarnish the reputations of individuals and entire organizations. When these accusations go to court and the defendant isn’t able to effectively disprove them, individuals suffer serious consequences. Many people lose their careers, businesses, and relationships while simultaneously suffering financial fallout.
With this in mind, working with a seasoned Indiana sexual harassment lawyer is the best thing you can do if you’ve been accused of sexual harassment. With a legal expert by your side, you can minimize legal repercussions or avoid them completely.
Indiana’s laws on sexual harassment
Two main laws come into play when it comes to sexual harassment accusations in Indiana:
- Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964
- The Indiana Civil Rights Law
At the federal level, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits all discrimination based on sex, including sexual harassment. At the state level, the Indiana Civil Rights Law dictates more or less the same thing.
However, Title VII The Civil Rights Act of 1964 only applies to companies with 15 or more employees, which means those claiming sexual harassment in smaller companies don’t always have a legal pathway to justice. This is why most states created their own laws to compensate for Title VII’s limitations by prohibiting sexual harassment in smaller companies with fewer employees.
In Indiana, that magic number is 6. The Indiana Civil Rights Law prohibiting discrimination based on sex applies to all public and private sector companies with 6 or more employees.
Things that would be considered sexual harassment in the workplace would be:
- Unwanted sexual advances like touching, patting, groping, or more explicit acts like rape or sexual assault
- Stalking, following someone around, waiting at their car at the end of the day, spamming their phone or emails
- Rude, lewd comments, the hanging of sexualized photos in the office
- Requests for sexual favors. For example, when an employer or high ranking employee tries to offer a pay raise or promotion in exchange for sex
Most of the time, all these and other types of sexual harassment fall under the two main categories of sexual harassment accusations:
- “Quid-pro-quo” sexual harassment
- Hostile work environment sexual harassment
Things that usually don’t get taken seriously by the courts are things like:
- Consensual dates, relationships, or “hookups”
- Asking someone on a date
- Giving someone a nonsexual compliment
- “Suggestive” eye contact
The legal process
Anyone making a claim of sexual harassment has to file with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) with 300 days. They may be asked to participate in an investigation and provide evidence to legitimize their claim before getting a “right to sue” the defendant or the defendant’s company or organization.
If you’ve been accused of sexual harassment in Indiana, getting in touch with an experienced attorney is the absolute best way to protect your rights, reputation, and livelihood. Attorneys are waiting to speak with you, whether you live in Springfield or any other municipality in Indiana.
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