Kentucky Sexual Harassment Law
Sexual harassment is not just inconvenient; it’s also not something that you have to put up with. It’s illegal per federal law, and the state of Kentucky also has laws in place that prohibit someone from discriminating against another person due to their gender, childbirth, pregnancy, or any medical condition that is related to pregnancy, under the Kentucky Civil Rights Act. This means that if someone is creating a work environment that is intimidating or threatening, you do have many resources to make the harassment stop; if the behavior is egregious enough you can even hold your employer liable.
The Kentucky Civil Rights Act holds any employer or business with eight or more workers accountable to ensure that their work environment is both safe and non-threatening and that no one is discriminated against based on their gender. It’s not limited to just being a male-on- female crime, either; “sexual harassment” is a term that can include both sexes and even same-sex discrimination.
What behaviors constitute sexual harassment in Kentucky?
Sexual harassment can come in many forms and be imposed on workers in different ways. Any misconduct of a sexual nature that is meant to intimidate, threaten, or to make someone feel uncomfortable can be considered sexual harassment. But to file a sexual harassment claim, the misconduct has to be more than just one incident – it has to be a series of behaviors that make someone feel fearful or threatened enough to create a hostile work environment, where a person cannot perform in the capacity that they should.
Behaviors that are considered sexually harassing are things like nonconsensual touching, unwelcome sexual advances, derogatory statements or remarks, sexually explicit images or photographs, and sexual innuendos. Creating a “hostile work environment” involves someone pervasively and repeatedly engaging in behaviors that make another person uncomfortable.
Another form of sexual harassment is when someone who holds an authority position above an employee sexually propositions them or asks for a sexual favor in exchange for either granting them some perk or advancement within the company. It might also involve someone making a sexual advance and either implicitly or explicitly making it known that if the worker does not comply, then they might be subject to a negative consequences such as termination, the loss of a promotion or even a demotion.
If someone bases your work advancement on you giving in to their request for a sexual act or favor, that is legally referred to as “quid pro quo” sexual harassment and is illegal, according to Kentucky’s sexual harassment laws and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
How do you get the harassment to stop?
If you are being victimized at work, the first step you need to take is to inform your harasser that you are uncomfortable with their behavior and request that they stop. If you are fearful of the other person, then you should go directly above them to a supervisor, boss, or the HR department, to file a sexual harassment claim. You will want to make a formal complaint so that, if a case needs to be initiated, you can prove that your employer was aware of the harassment.
The second step is to hire a Kentucky sexual harassment lawyer to help you to file the proper paperwork at both the state and federal levels. You should file with the Equal Opportunities Employment Commission to make sure to cover all of your bases should a lawsuit be necessary.
According to Kentucky sexual harassment law, what are you entitled to for compensation?
If you can prove that the sexual harassment was both pervasive and systematic enough to cause you damage either emotionally or financially – or both – then your employer might be liable to compensate you. If you want to recover your damages, you will need to prove:
- That your employer was aware of the sexual harassment
- That your employer did nothing to improve the situation even though they knew that the harassment was happening
Your Kentucky sexual harassment attorney might be able to get you both compensatory and – if the sexual harassment was severe enough – punitive damages in court. But having a paper trail and a Kentucky sexual harassment lawyer will be the key to winning your case in a court of law. Contact USAttorneys.com today to find a local Kentucky sexual harassment lawyer to discuss your claim and determine your next actions.