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What Constitutes Sexual Harassment in Hawaii?

Hawaii Sexual Harassment Law


Everyone in a workplace environment should be treated with respect and concern, but unfortunately not all places are conducive to those conditions. If you are in a situation where you feel as if you are being discriminated against due to your gender or you believe that you are a victim of sexual harassment, you do have options to make the harassment stop and to receive compensation if you have suffered because of it.

The Hawaii Fair Employment Practices Act strictly prohibits anyone from being discriminated against in the workplace due to factors like gender, pregnancy, pregnancy-related conditions, sexual orientation, marital status or even sexual or domestic violence.

Anyone who engages in discrimination or sexual harassment is in violation of the regulations guided by the Hawaii Civil Rights Commission, which expressly states that harassment of any form is prohibited under Hawaii’s fair employment law. Unlike other states, the laws regarding sexual harassment apply to any employer regardless of how many employees they have.


According to Hawaii state laws, what constitutes sexual harassment in the workplace?

Sexual harassment in the workplace can be perpetrated in many different forms. One form is called “quid pro quo,” which is a legal term meaning “this for that.” If you are the victim of a quid pro quo sexual harassment, it means that someone has offered you something in exchange for a sexual favor. An example of this is when someone who has authority over you – or your position in the company – requests a sexual favor in exchange for some advantage that you gain within the company. In the same manner, quid pro quo can happen when someone makes a sexual request and either implicitly or explicitly makes it known that failure to comply might lead to your demotion, dismissal, or even to a poor work performance review.

You might also be the victim of sexual harassment if someone makes your work environment hostile. Lewd comments, derogatory jokes, pervasive and systematic unwelcome advances, nonconsensual touching, and intimidating or threatening sexually charged behaviors all can create a hostile work environment. To prove that the harassment you suffered led to a hostile work environment, the conduct in question must be pervasive and continuous – not just one incident.


Steps to take to end sexual harassment in the workplace

If you are a victim of sexual harassment, it is imperative that you let your employer, your supervisor, and the person who is harassing you know about the inappropriate behavior. You will want to file a claim with your employer, the Hawaii Civil Rights Commission, and the Equal Opportunity Employment Commission, which handles sexual harassment cases at the federal level.

You must also immediately hire a Hawaii sexual harassment lawyer – both to help you file the claims, and to ensure that you are following the procedures necessary to make the harassment stop. Hiring an attorney who specializes only in sexual harassment in the workplace is the best way for you to plead your case should you file a lawsuit against your employer to receive compensation. The more documentation you can provide your lawyer, the better.


What are you entitled to if you are a victim of sexual harassment in Hawaii?

If you can prove that you have been a victim of sexual harassment, then you might be entitled to both compensatory and punitive damages. But there are very specific things that you must prove to make your employer liable:


You don’t have to be a victim – there are many resources available to help

Sexual harassment is not only illegal on the state level through the Hawaii Fair Employment Practices Act; it is also strictly prohibited at the federal level through Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. To make the harassment stop and to ensure that you don’t suffer further emotional or economic damages, it is imperative to hire a Hawaii sexual harassment lawyer to defend you in court. Consult to get the protection you need to make the harassment stop and to get you back to work in a safe environment.