Iowa Sexual Harassment Law
For many people, work is not just a place that they go to earn money. Many find satisfaction in a job well done and having the ability to advance in their career. If you are the victim of sexual harassment, however, it can make going to work a nightmare and ruin your productivity and performance. Sexual harassment is not only illegal at the Iowa state level, but also at the federal level through Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Discrimination according to one’s gender constitutes sexual harassment in the workplace.
According to the Iowa Civil Rights Act, it is prohibited for any company with more than four workers to discriminate against anyone based on their gender, pregnancy or any conditions related to their pregnancy, their sexual orientation or their gender identity. It is illegal to harass anyone according to gender characteristics in a workplace environment or beyond.
What kinds of behaviors constitute sexual harassment according to the Iowa Civil Rights Act?
There are various kinds of misconduct and inappropriate behaviors that can constitute sexual harassment. Things like nonconsensual touching, inappropriate or lewd remarks, derogatory comments made about someone’s gender or sexuality, unwelcome propositions, or displaying explicit and sexually charged images are all ways that people can make a work environment hostile. In legal terms, a “hostile work environment” is created when someone systematically and pervasively offends, intimidates, threatens, or otherwise makes a workplace hostile to workers. Creating a hostile environment is just one form of sexual harassment.
Another form of sexual harassment is called “quid pro quo.” Based on a Latin phrase, it basically means, “if you do this, then I will do that.” If you are sexually harassed through quid pro quo, it means that someone has requested a sexual act or favor from you, and in exchange they have offered you an advancement or perk in your career.
Another example of quid pro quo would be if someone made a request for a sexual act or favor and either implicitly or explicitly made you feel as if your failure to comply would be detrimental to your work status, such as being denied a promotion or even terminated.
The complexity of proving sexual harassment
If you are being sexually harassed, it might not be easy to prove. Sometimes it is an issue of your word against someone else’s. But there are often many ways for you to document the harassment to show that it wasn’t just that you felt uncomfortable – any reasonable person in your situation would likewise be offended. And it wasn’t just one time that you were offended, but that it was a pervasive and repetitive behavior.
To prove that you have been sexually harassed, it is imperative to keep any correspondence that you have with your harasser. Document the occasions where their conduct has been inappropriate and keep a journal of all the offenses that you have encountered. If it becomes egregious enough for you to initiate a lawsuit, your Iowa sexual harassment lawyer will need all the proof that you can supply to prove your case in court.
How to handle your claim for sexual harassment
You don’t have to suffer by being a victim of sexual harassment. There are ways to get your harasser to stop, and if the behavior is bad enough, to receive compensation for your damages. The first step is to make both the harasser and your employer aware of the harassment, and file a claim or follow the procedures outlined by your company or organization for filing a sexual harassment claim.
The next step is to hire an Iowa sexual harassment lawyer who can help you to file a claim in either state or federal court to receive compensation if you have any damages resulting from the sexual harassment. It is possible to recover both economic and noneconomic damages if you suffer losses due to sexual harassment in the workplace.
If you are the victim of sexual harassment in Iowa, you have many resources to get the harassment to stop and to be compensated for your damages. Contact USAttorneys.com today to speak with an Iowa sexual harassment lawyer, find out what you are entitled to and be protected from further loss.