Sexual harassment has no specific venue.
Sexual harassment can occur at work, at school, at church, and any place where there is 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. Sexual discrimination is when you are discriminated against for being male or female, and for being pregnant, with regard to work environment, gaining promotions, crossing the gender salary gap 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.
Sexual harassment in the workplace is when someone forces unwelcome advances on you 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.
Examples of sexual harassment.
- Uninvited physical contact.
- Sexual assault.
- Displaying sexually explicit media or objects.
- Intimidation through rude remarks regarding appearance that are gender-related.
- Offering promotions or special treatment for sexual favors.
- Understated flirting or sexually suggestive conversations.
- Threatening continued employment or ability to advance the corporate channels unless sexual favors are given.
- Sexual jokes, comments or defamatory statements about co-workers that are sexually explicit can make a work environment uncomfortable.
Making a claim for sexual harassment.
Claims of sexual harassment can include individuals who have been affected by workplace sexual harassment, or third parties who have witnessed the harassment, due to the negative emotional impact it has on them. Sexual harassment claims cannot be made if the sexual behavior was welcomed or with mutual consent. Many corporate entities and universities have designated policies where workplace dating is prohibited or legal documents need to be executed to keep the workplace from being involve in any messy litigation between the parties.
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. Sexual 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.
- All employees should be made aware of employer’s policy on sexual harassment from the first day of employment.
- Make sure the organization has an objective party that can accept a sexual harassment complaint in the event a person cannot go to their immediate supervisor.
- Investigate the complaint.
- Talk with employee who has made the complaint and advise that they should follow up if there is any form of retaliation.
- Assure the accused that an unbiased examination of the facts will occur.
- Interview witnesses to the harassment action.
- Interview the accused harasser.
- Consult with human resources and legal counsel.
- Reprimand or terminate the employee with notice in their employee file.
You do have legal options against sexual harassment, and seeking legal counsel is the first thing you should do after reporting the abuse through the proper channels at your place of employment, or at school, or wherever the incident took place; if there are procedural guidelines set up that you must follow.
Once the particulars of your case are presented, the attorneys at the Law Offices of Anderson Barkley can assist you with civil or criminal action to provide you with damages, and even personal injury that you sustained due to the sexual harassment. Please call to arrange for a complementary consultation.
Anderson Barkley Law
3900 E. Mexico Ave., Suite 300
Denver, CO 80210