United States – December 20, 2020
Sexual harassment can occur at work, at school, at church, at the gym, and any place where there is interaction between human beings. Workplace 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. Sexual discrimination is when individuals are discriminated against for being male or female, and for being pregnant, with regard to work environment, gaining promotions, gender salary gaps and reductions in 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. Experienced sexual harassment and employment law attorneys can guide actions when individuals are victimized.
Sexual harassment in the workplace, or workplace harassment is when someone forces unwelcome advances on a person through physical contact of a sexual nature, makes requests for sexual favors, or other verbal, or physical harassment of a sexual nature and it 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 affects 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.
Lin Farley, a feminist scholar, while teaching a class at Cornell University in 1975 regarding “women at work,” and through her interaction with students and hearing the many reported incidents they experienced at work came up with the term “sexual harassment” to refer to this widespread problem. Previous to that time, the now openly frowned upon behavior was so common in the workplace, it did not have a name. 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 almost forty 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. The “Me Too” movement against sexual harassment and sexual assault began in 2006 by Tarana Burke to address women of color who were abused, but became more prominent in October 2017 when more women spoke about their work harassment, often sexual in nature. Legal counsel can assist with giving victims a voice against sexual harassment and workplace harassment.
Individuals do have legal options against sexual and workplace harassment. Seeking legal counsel is the first thing victims should do after reporting the abuse through the proper channels at their 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 case are laid out, an attorney at USattorneys.com can assist victims of harassment with civil, or criminal action to compensate for damages, and even personal injury that may have been a result of the sexual, or workplace harassment.