In the Magnolia State, there is no state-level law that prohibits sexual harassment in the workplace, which poses an issue for many people who claim to be victims of this crime.
At the federal level, there is Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which bans all discrimination based on sex, including sexual harassment. However, this Act only applies to companies with 15 or more employees.
Though the limitation was designed to protect smaller companies from getting ruined by allegations, it can be paradoxical in nature given that larger companies usually have way more stringent policies on preventing and enforcing sexual harassment, and are therefore less prone to it happening. This often means that the people who need protection the most are unable to get it.
If you need help with a sexual harassment lawsuit in Mississippi, your first step should be to connect with an experienced sexual harassment lawyer to protect your rights and navigate the bureaucracy.
The legal process of sexual harassment lawsuits in Mississippi
If you’ve experienced sexual harassment in the workplace, you may have limited options if your company has less than 15 employees. If this is the case, the most likely avenue to justice is to sue for sexual assault by proving that malicious physical contact happened. This is unfortunately difficult to prove without very concrete evidence like surveillance footage or overwhelming witness testimony.
So for the vast majority of sexual harassment lawsuits in Mississippi, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 is invoked.
Standards for sexual harassment
Sexual harassment can occur in many different ways. Some of the more common examples are:
- Rude or lewd comments
- Unwanted sexual advances, whether it’s touching, patting, or more aggressive forms of sexual assault
- Showing unsolicited nude/sexualized images
These examples fall under the “hostile work environment” category of sexual harassment. The other main category of sexual harassment is called “quid-pro-quo” sexual harassment whereby someone, usually an employer or higher-ranking employee, tries to exchange a job benefit like a promotion to a lower-ranking employee for sex or sexual favors.
There are some things that are usually not taken seriously by the courts, like being asked out on a date, nonsexual compliments, or consensual relationships.
Do you need assistance filing a claim for sexual harassment in Mississippi?
In order to pursue legal action at the federal level, any victim of sexual harassment must file a claim with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) within 300 days of the last time they experienced the harassment.
With the limited amount of time to file a claim, the tediousness of the legal process, and the difficulty in framing a solid case, it’s imperative to work with an experienced Mississippi sexual harassment attorney to protect your rights and get you the justice you deserve. Attorneys in Gulfport, Jackson, and more are waiting to protect you. Contact them today.