Idaho Sexual Harassment Law
Unlike other states that have very few provisions in place for workplace sexual harassment, Idaho has explicitly-defined and strict consequences for an employer who engages in sexually harassing behaviors or discrimination of any kind that is based on someone’s gender. Both men and women are afforded the right not to be harassed in the workplace or to be discriminated against in almost all parts of their employment. At the state level, the Idaho Human Rights Act makes it illegal for anyone to discriminate according to gender.
If you are the victim of sexual harassment in Idaho, you have the option to bring a claim at the state level through the Idaho Human Rights Act, which is guided by the Idaho Commission on Human Rights, or to make a claim through federal court using Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Idaho’s sexual harassment laws apply to both private and public employers with more than five workers, but it also has provisions in place for subcontractors or contractors who are providing services or goods in the state.
What constitutes sexual harassment under Idaho state law?
Sexual harassment can come in many forms and is based on the theory of what any reasonable person would perceive as “threatening” or “intimidating.” In legal terms, a “reasonable person” is a constraint that means anyone in the same position would reasonably perceive the situation in the same manner.
Workers who are the victim of quid pro quo sexual harassment have had a sexual favor requested of them in exchange for an advantage in the workplace, such as a promotion or increase in salary. In the same respect, quid pro quo can also be the case if a worker was asked for a sexual favor and was led to believe that if they did not comply, they could face termination, loss of promotion or even be disciplined due to a poor work evaluation. This is a situation where a person in authority tries to coerce someone into providing sexual favors in exchange for either a benefit or to maintain their position or status in a “this for that” type of proposition.
An employee can also be the victim of sexual harassment if someone makes their work environment hostile through the use of intimidation or threats of a sexual nature. Examples of making a workplace hostile are non-consensual touching, making derogatory remarks, sexual innuendos and sexually explicit photos or lewd comments. If someone is making a workplace pervasively or systemically intimidating, uncomfortable, or hostile, then you can make a claim for sexual harassment.
What to do if you are the victim of sexual harassment
If you are a worker who is being victimized by sexual harassment, then it is imperative for you to tell the person who is harassing you that they must stop. It is also critical that you file a complaint with your employer, supervisor, or HR department. Since sexual harassment at the state level is handled through the Idaho Commission on Human Rights, you can also file a claim for sexual harassment through the agency. If you want to pursue action on a federal level, you can file a claim through the Equal Occupational Rights Commission to proceed in federal court.
To help you file the correct motions and to get the harassment to stop, it is also crucial that you contact an Idaho sexual harassment lawyer to help guide you through the process. You will need to prove not only that your employer knew that you were being sexually harassed but also that while they knew about the situation they did nothing to stop it or to improve the conditions.
Is your employer liable for sexual harassment?
If your attorney can prove that your employer was aware of the sexual harassment and did nothing to ameliorate the situation, then they might be held liable for both compensatory and – if the harassment was egregious enough – punitive damages. Actions like a reinstatement of position, paid medical expenses for mental distress, and lost wages might be ordered by the court. To be sure, if you are the victim of workplace harassment, contact USAttorneys.com to find a lawyer in Idaho who specializes in sexual harassment to help you get fair compensation for your case.