Minnesota Sexual Harassment Law
There is possibly nothing worse than going to work with a sinking feeling that it is just going to be another day where you are made to feel degraded and uncomfortable. For many Minnesotans, the workplace can be hostile. Fearing retaliation or even getting fired, many victims of sexual harassment choose to turn the other cheek and just try to ignore the offensive behaviors – but you don’t have to. If you are suffering due to sexual harassment, you have many resources to stop the harassment so that you can go to work without feeling threatened or intimidated.
The Minnesota Human Rights Act applies to all workers in Minnesota, and it strictly prohibits anyone from being discriminated against due to their sex, marital status, pregnancy and any medical conditions related to pregnancy or childbirth, familial status, and it specifically states that sexual harassment is illegal. Minnesota residents are also protected at the federal level by Title VII of Civil Rights Act of 1964, meaning that you can file a claim of sexual harassment at both the state and federal levels.
Behaviors that constitute sexual harassment
Sexual harassment encompasses a variety of behaviors that are offensive, threatening, or intimidating. It’s not just one incident that creates the situation; sexual harassment is a series of repetitious and systematic misconduct that makes someone feel uncomfortable in their work environment. If someone creates a hostile work environment for another employee, that is legally considered sexual harassment.
There are many activities that someone can engage in that are sexually offensive; some examples are sexual innuendos, non consensual touching, derogatory comments and remarks, sexual jokes, or explicit sexual material and unwelcome advances. To prove that you are the victim of sexual harassment you must be able to show that the misconduct is pervasive and that any other “reasonable person” would find it offensive. The legal concept of “reasonability” is used to determine if any “reasonable person” would consider it harassment if they were in the same situation as you.
There are also instances where sexual harassment can be one single act. If someone in a position of authority or who holds power over your work performance makes a sexual advance that is tied to your job advancement, that is considered sexual harassment. In the same manner, if a person who is responsible for your work review makes it known either implicitly or explicitly that you will face negative consequences if you don’t comply with their advances, that can also be considered sexual harassment.
How do you prove that you have been sexually harassed?
To make the harassment stop, and in some instances to hold your employer liable for any damages that you suffer, you have to prove that the employer was aware of the situation. That is why it is imperative that you not only tell the person who is harassing you that their behavior is offensive and ask them to stop, but also that you let your boss, supervisor, or HR department know as well. Your company should have specific procedures in place to take care of sexual harassment claims.
If you have filed a claim and let the harasser and your employer know of the harassment, and no steps have been taken, then it is imperative that you hire a Minnesota sexual harassment lawyer – not only to get your job secured, but also to make sure that you don’t incur any further economic or emotional damages.
Can you hold your employer liable?
If your Minnesota sexual harassment attorney can prove that your employer both knew of the harassment and did nothing to ameliorate the situation, then you do have the option of suing your employer at either the state or federal levels. To initiate a federal case, you can file a claim with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
If you file a claim, your sexual harassment lawyer should be able to walk you through the process. If you are being sexually harassed in Minnesota, you do have the right to make the harassment stop and to be compensated for any economic and non-economic damages that you have suffered. The best place to start is by contacting USAttorneys.com today to find an experienced sexual harassment lawyer in Minnesota who can explain what resources you have available and how best to protect yourself and your career position.