How to hold an employer financially liable for sexual harassment in Virginia?

If an employee was sexually harassed by someone in their workplace such as an employer or co-worker and they are looking to recover compensation to make up for how the behavior has affected their life and livelihood, they may be able to obtain it through a civil action. Because sexual harassment is considered a form of discrimination and is “an unlawful employment practice,” employers can be held financially liable when it occurs in their workplace.1 Now, to hold an employer financially liable for harassment, an employee should first consider consulting with a Virginia sexual harassment lawyer to ensure they have a valid case.

Once confirmed, an employee will then want to discuss with a sexual harassment attorney the process of filing a civil lawsuit. A civil lawsuit is a noncriminal lawsuit that can involve two or more parties.2 In this type of case, it would likely involve the employee and their employer. If the employee works for a large company such as Walmart or Google, their lawsuit would then be filed against it.


Understanding the Civil Lawsuit Process


To begin the civil lawsuit process against an employer, the employee, or plaintiff, would need to file a complaint with the court and in it, identify the defendant, or person they are suing. This is usually done in the county where the incident occurred. Those who choose to hire a Virginia sexual harassment lawyer can rest assured that their attorney will help them with this.

In addition to this, an employee, or plaintiff, will also be required to:


  1. Describe the damages or injury they suffered. For example, if the harassment led to an employee quitting because their work environment became too hostile or offensive, or they suffered psychological injuries as a result of the behavior, this could be used to satisfy this requirement.


  1. Explain how their employer (i.e. the defendant) caused them harm. What actions led to the plaintiff suffering injuries or damages? What types of behavior did the employer display that caused the employee to suffer?


  1. Request that the court provide them with financial relief. After an employee has explained what their employer did and how it affected them physically or financially, they can then request that the court require their employer to provide them with financial relief. Some of the things an employee might seek financial relief for include:
  • Pain and suffering
  • Back pay
  • Embarrassment
  • Mental anguish


Because it can sometimes be difficult for an individual to place a value on their suffering, it is recommended that they have their lawyer handle this for them.

Once the case is presented before a judge, both parties will have the opportunity to share their side of the story. If the defendant chooses not to settle with the employee to avoid trial, the case will then be settled at trial.

Now, if an employee would like help with obtaining financial relief from their employer because he/she sexually harassed them, they can contact USAttorneys.com to get connected with a sexual harassment lawyer. Regardless of whether an employee works in Virginia Beach, Norfolk, or even Chesapeake, USAttorneys.com is sure to find them a lawyer who is qualified and eager to help them.



  1. https://www.vec.virginia.gov/sexual-harassment-policy
  2. https://www.law.cornell.edu/wex/civil_action
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