According to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), harassment, whether it is verbal, physical, or sexual in nature, is illegal when “it is so frequent or severe that it creates a hostile or offensive work environment or when it results in an adverse employment decision.” Sexual harassment includes unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, inappropriate hand touches, etc. Now, the EEOC does stipulate that “simple teasing, offhand comments, or isolated incidents that are not very serious” aren’t considered unlawful unless they reach a point where they become “frequent or severe.”

If an employee believes they have been sexually harassed in their place of employment and would like to discuss what legal remedies are available to them, they should contact a Maine sexual harassment lawyer. USAttorneys.com is available to help harassment victims find a lawyer in their area whether that be in Portland, Lewiston, or even Bangor.

 

Who can be a potential harasser?

 

Employers aren’t the only ones who can be recognized for sexual harassment. In fact, any of the following could be a potential perpetrator:

  • Co-workers
  • Clients
  • Supervisors
  • Customers
  • Supervisors in other departments or areas

 

Examples of Sexual Harassment in the Workplace

 

Although it may not be illegal for a co-worker or employer to make one sly remark regarding an employee’s gender or say something that makes them feel a bit uncomfortable, if the behavior continues or becomes more serious, an employee may be able to recognize the individual(s) for sexual harassment. On the other hand, the following examples are forms of sexual harassment and would be classified as unlawful behavior:

  1. An employer demotes an employee because he/she turns them down. It is unlawful for an employer to fire or demote an employee simply because they dismissed their sexual advances.
  2. Threatening an employee’s job if they refuse to engage in sexual relations.
  3. Sending sexually explicit photos, text messages, or emails.
  4. Making unwanted and inappropriate contact with an employee.

 

What legal remedies are available to the victim of sexual harassment?

 

Aside from reporting an employer or co-worker to the EEOC, a victim of sexual harassment can also file a civil lawsuit against their harasser. A civil lawsuit would not only bring attention to an individual for their act(s) of misconduct, but it would help a victim recover compensation for the impact the incident has had on them physically, mentally, and even financially if it has interfered with their ability to work.

If a harassment victim is ready to speak with a Maine sexual harassment attorney who can help them take the necessary steps to hold their harasser accountable for their behavior, they can contact USAttorneys.com

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