Sexual harassment doesn’t just affect victims, it can bring down entire companies and organizations. This is why so many states now have mandatory anti-sexual harassment training for all companies of a certain size.
The state of Colorado doesn’t mandate such training, but it does recommend it. Our state also strictly prohibits sexual harassment, so any company wishing to avoid a lawsuit should do the training anyway, regardless of whether or not it’s mandatory.
If you were the victim of sexual harassment in Colorado or were accused of it, make sure to connect with an experienced Colorado-based sexual harassment attorney who can help you navigate the legal process.
What are the laws against sexual harassment?
Sexual harassment laws mainly boil down to two different laws, depending on the state. At the state level, Colorado has the Colorado Anti-Discrimination Act which probits every employer from “harassing a person in the course of employment on the basis of sex or sexual orientation.”
In this law, “sexual orientation” can mean anything from:
This Act applies to all employers in both the public and private sector, regardless of size. The only people exempt from the law are religious organizations unless they’re publicly funded.
On the other hand, at the federal level, the entire country is bound by the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which under Title VII, prohibits all sex-based discrimination, sexual harassment included.
This act applies to all companies in the private and public sector with 15 or more employees. Since the law only applies to employers of a certain size, many victims of sexual harassment end up citing state-level laws.
What exactly is sexual harassment?
In the context of the workplace, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission defines sexual harassment as “unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature.”
Their guidelines go into fairly elaborate detail, but most sexual harassment allegations and lawsuits end up being two different types:
- Quid pro quo
- Hostile work environment
Quid pro quo usually involves an imbalance of power between two people in an organization. It’s when a boss or high-ranking employee tries to bribe another person with a job benefit in exchange for sexual favors. An example is a boss telling an intern he will give her a pay raise for a sex act.
Hostile work environment sexual harassment is when someone faces some sort of behavior that puts them in a “hostile” workplace.
This can include, but definitely isn’t limited to:
- Unwanted touching, sexual advances, or rape
- Rude, sexualized comments, whether verbal or by text, email, etc.
- Stalking or spying.
- Unsolicited sexual photos or pornography
Do you need help with a sexual harassment lawsuit in Colorado?
The subjective nature of these types of lawsuits requires experienced lawyers to help frame cases. Anywhere from Boulder to Denver, qualified attorneys are ready to assist you.