What makes sexual harassment easy to get away with for so many perpetrators is the fact that their victims are afraid to speak out. The fear of being judged, embarrassed, or having their career or social status jeopardized is too much to bear for many victims of sexual harassment.
This fear of sounding the alarm is what drove the #MeToo movement, where thousands of women (and men) decided to come out and share their experiences of sexual harassment, encouraging others to do so as well.
This movement has started a snowball effect of victims coming out, not just against experiences happening in the here and now, but things that happened in the past, sometimes years or decades ago.
If you’ve been the victim of sexual harassment in Arkansas, know that you may be entitled to compensation. Qualified local attorneys are waiting to hear from you today.
Recently at the University of Arkansas Fort Smith, a faculty member sued the institution after she claimed to be subject to sexual harassment and “a hostile work environment, harassment, failure to promote, undesirable work assignments/schedules, loss of advancement opportunities and failure to make a reasonable increase in wages.”
The faculty member, a woman named Jackie Canver, said that after word got out of her complaints, she received “retaliation and blowback that has continued since that date.”
If what Canver’s saying is true, the University could face some serious litigation.
What are the laws against sexual harassment?
Sexual harassment is illegal at both the national and state level. At the state level, Arkansas has The Arkansas Civil Rights Act, which prohibits employment discrimination based on gender, including pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions. Though the law doesn’t have explicit provisions for sexual harassment, courts can consider it a form of gender-based discrimination and refer to the federal laws on sexual harassment.
So what are the federal laws?
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits all sex-based discrimination, sexual harassment included. This Act can be invoked with all companies that have 15 or more employees. All victims of sexual harassment wishing to invoke Title VII must first file a claim with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) within 300 days of their last experienced incident.
There are two types of sexual harassment:
- Hostile work environment sexual harassment
- Quid-pro quo sexual harassment
Hostile work environment sexual harassment is when someone is exposed to some type of sexually hostile act or behavior, like rape, rude comments, or stalking. Quid pro quo is when a boss or high-ranking employee tries to bribe someone else into giving them sexual favors in exchange for a pay raise or promotion.
Did you experience sexual harassment in the workplace in Arkansas?
Don’t waste any more time, connect with an experienced sexual harassment lawyer today.