Michigan Sexual Harassment Law
The workplace is where most people spend a huge majority of their time, which is why having a supportive and productive work environment is so critical to a person’s overall health and well-being. If someone is sexually harassing you at work, it might be taking its toll on you. The good news is that you have many resources available in Michigan to get the harassment to stop so you can be comfortable again at work.
Thanks to the Elliott-Larson Civil Rights Act, no one is allowed to discriminate against another individual due to their gender. It also includes the prohibition of sexual harassment. Unlike other states in the union that have sexual harassment laws that only pertain to larger employers, the Elliot-Larson Civil Rights Act applies to all employers, regardless of company size, and any agent of an employer. Michigan residents are also protected against sexual harassment at the federal level through Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
What constitutes sexual harassment according to the Elliot-Larson Civil Rights Act?
Any behavior or conduct that discriminates against anyone due to their gender, which includes pregnancy and medical conditions related to pregnancy and childhood, are covered under the discrimination act. There are also provisions that explicitly make sexual harassment illegal. Someone can sexually harass another person in various ways.
Sometimes the harassment is a situation where an individual’s behavior is repetitious and pervasive enough that it interferes with a worker’s ability to perform comfortably in their work environment. In cases where the misconduct is long-standing and systematic, that is legally termed “creating a hostile work environment,” which is prohibited under the Civil Rights Act.
Behaviors that constitute sexual harassment can be varied, but some examples are poking fun at or making jokes about someone’s gender, derogatory remarks and comments, nonconsensual touching, sexual innuendos, or even displaying sexually explicit material in the office.
Sexual harassment might also be one specific act where a person in a supervisory position or authority over an individual’s performance at work propositions them sexually and makes it known that if the employee goes along with the sexual request, they will receive special favors or advancement. It is also harassment when the employer or supervisor makes it explicitly or implicitly known that if the employee refuses the sexual advance, it could negatively affect their work position, like being passed over for a promotion or even terminated.
You don’t have to remain silent
Often, victims of sexual harassment stay silent for fear of making things worse or facing retaliation. It is illegal for any employer or company to retaliate against anyone who makes a claim for sexual harassment. But if you are going to file a claim, it is best to have a Michigan sexual harassment lawyer on your side to protect you and to ensure that you don’t suffer any negative consequences if you do come forward.
The first step to take is to let the harasser know that their behavior is intolerable and that it needs to stop. Making both the harasser and the employer or the HR department aware of the harassment is imperative to prove that you notified the proper people. Michigan companies should all have guidelines in place about how to file a sexual harassment claim through the company. Following those procedures is imperative to getting your issue resolved.
If you do not get resolution after filing a report, then it might be necessary to file a claim at both the state and federal levels through the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Your Michigan sexual harassment lawyer can help you to file suit and to prove your case.
Are you entitled to compensation?
If you can prove that your employer knew of the sexual harassment but did nothing to make it better and that you suffered economic or non-economic damages, then yes, you can receive compensation for both compensatory and punitive damages if the situation was egregious enough. But winning your case will take the help of an experienced Michigan sexual harassment attorney to plead your case in court, protect you from any retaliation, and either get your job reinstated or help you to return to a healthier and more productive work environment. Consult USAttorneys.com today to find a professional Michigan sexual harassment attorney and to determine next steps to making the work harassment stop.