Indiana Sexual Harassment Law
Although most people have a life outside of work, the majority of their lives is spent in the workplace. One key to your well-being is finding a workplace atmosphere that is both supportive and fulfilling. If you are in a work environment where you feel threatened or intimidated by sexual harassment, it can severely alter your happiness. The good news is that you don’t have to be the victim of sexual harassment in Indiana. There are various resources to end the harassment and to make work more fulfilling and positive.
Not only are you afforded protection on a federal level through Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, but Indiana also has state sexual harassment laws to protect workers from discrimination and harassment at work. The Indiana Civil Rights Law prohibits employers from discriminating based on gender. The sexual harassment laws of Indiana include both private and public employers.
What behaviors constitute sexual harassment at work?
Many sexually inappropriate behaviors are considered harassment. Typically those behaviors fall into two different categories.
“Quid pro quo” is the kind of harassment that involves the notion of “you do this for me, and I will do that for you.” If someone who has authority over you in the workplace offers you perks or advances in exchange for sexual favors or acts, then that is considered a quid pro quo situation. In the same way, if an employer or supervisor makes sexual advances that make you feel coerced to comply or risk suffering consequences, that is also a form of quid pro quo harassment.
Another kind of sexual harassment is when someone creates a workplace that is hostile due to their sexual misconduct or behavior. Examples of sexual misconduct are non consensual touching, sexual innuendos, derogatory remarks, explicitly sexual materials and lewd jokes. Misconduct isn’t just about one incident; for you to be a victim of a hostile workplace, the harasser’s behavior has to be both consistent and pervasive. It must be a series of episodes used to intimidate or threaten you sexually.
How to proceed if you have been a victim of sexual harassment
If you are the victim of sexual harassment, you need not be afraid to report it. It is illegal for any employer to retaliate against someone who files a sexual harassment claim. But to ensure that you can make it stop, and if necessary be compensated for your damages, then you do need to make the harasser know that the inappropriate behavior needs to end. It is also essential that you file a claim with your employer, your supervisor, or the HR department, and use the proper channels to report your sexual harassment allegations.
You can file a claim in state court according to the Indiana Civil Rights Commission, or you can initiate a case through the federal court by filing a claim with the Equal Opportunity Employment Commission. If appropriate and recommended by your Indiana sexual harassment lawyer, you may file claims in both courts.
What are you entitled to if you are sexually harassed in the workplace?
If you are sexually harassed in the workplace, then you might be entitled to receive compensation for both your compensatory damages as well as your punitive ones, depending on the egregious nature of the harassment, and if your employer reacted inappropriately to your claim or did nothing to make it better.
To hold your employer liable in a court of law, you will need the help of an Indiana sexual harassment attorney to guide you through the complexity of not only proving that your employer was aware of the harassment, but that they also did nothing to improve the situation, and as a result you suffered economically and emotionally.
You do have the right to be treated with respect in the workplace. If your rights have been violated, either through being discriminated against due to your gender or through sexual harassment, it is imperative that you contact USAttorneys.com to find a local Indiana sexual harassment attorney who can help you receive all that you are entitled to and let you get back to a healthier and safer workplace.