Background.

Attorney and Legal Scholar Catharine MacKinnon pushed forward the legal claim for sexual harassment under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, as workplace discrimination giving women an avenue to sue for damages under the law. It has been forty-five years since the “sexual harassment” label was introduced to the public, acknowledging the extent of the damage sexual harassment has caused in the workplace and beyond, as seen in the  “Me Too” movement against sexual harassment and sexual assault that was brought to the forefront in October 2017, even though the movement began in 2006.

Venue.

Sexual harassment can occur at work, at school, at church, and any place where there is supposed to be professional interaction between human beings.  Harassment is a form of employment discrimination and a violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the American Disabilities Act of 1990, and the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967.  An experienced attorney in sexual harassment cases can explain the differences between harassment and discrimination, even though both are actionable by law, depending on the harms.

Sexual discrimination is when an individual is discriminated against for being male, or female, and for being pregnant, as it pertains to the work environment, gaining promotions, wide gender salary gaps, and reductions of benefits, based on gender. The discriminators in these cases are usually managers, bosses, and supervisors in places of employment, although sometimes co-workers discriminate as well.

Workplace.

Sexual harassment in the workplace is when someone forces unwelcome advances on individuals through physical contact of a sexual nature, or makes requests for sexual favors, or other verbal, or physical harassment of a sexual nature and is punishable by law.  Both harassment and sexual harassment are discriminatory, but the latter is sexual in nature.

Claims of sexual harassment can include individuals who have been affected by workplace sexual harassment, even third parties who have witnessed it, due to the negative emotional impact it has on them.  Sexual harassment claims are only valid if the sexual behavior exhibited is unwelcomed, and it can affect both men and women in the workplace, without relevance to positions held at a place of employment. Harassment is illegal when it is so frequent, or severe that it creates a hostile or offensive work environment, or when it results in an adverse employment decision, such as a victim being fired, transferred, or demoted.  The harasser can be the victim’s supervisor, a supervisor in another area, a co-worker, or someone who is not an employee of the employer, such as a client or customer.

Legal options.

Contact a sexual harassment lawyer in Alabama to explore legal avenues to address the problem.  Victims of sexual harassment should report the abuse through the proper channels at a job, or at school, or wherever the incident took place, if there are procedural guidelines set up that must be followed.  Once the particulars of a sexual harassment case are identified, experienced sexual harassment attorneys can assist with civil and/or criminal action to provide victims with financial relief to address harms from the sexual harassment, or assault.

 

Sources:

https://metoomvmt.org/about/#history

https://www.justice.gov/crt/fcs/TitleVI-Overview

https://www.ada.gov/

https://www.eeoc.gov/statutes/title-vii-civil-rights-act-1964

https://www.eeoc.gov/statutes/age-discrimination-employment-act-1967

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