Mississippi Sexual Harassment Law
When you walk into work daily, you have the right to expect that you are entering into a safe and non-offensive atmosphere – but unfortunately that is not always the case. If you are a victim of sexual harassment in Mississippi, going into work every day can be fraught with tension and anxiety. Because sexual harassment is illegal at the federal level, you do not have to suffer through it. You have many resources available to make the harassment stop so you can walk into work feeling safe and being productive.
Unlike other states, Mississippi does not have any specific state law that prohibits discrimination or sexual harassment for private employers. But you do have resources available to get your harassment case resolved. Due to Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, companies with 15 or more employees are not allowed to discriminate against any employee based on their gender, and that includes sexual harassment.
What are behaviors that fall under the definition of sexual harassment?
Although not all specific behaviors are outlined in Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, any behavior that is meant to intimidate, discriminate or threaten someone based on their gender is strictly prohibited. Examples of sexually-harassing behavior include nonconsensual touching, derogatory remarks, comments that are meant to threaten, jokes or explicit sexual material, unwelcome sexual advances and lewd sounds.
To file a claim for sexual harassment, there have to be a series of behaviors – not just one incident – that are meant to be threatening. Sexual harassment is a pervasive and systematic way that someone makes a work environment feel uncomfortable and hostile. Legally termed a “hostile work environment,” if someone is repeatedly making you feel intimidated, then you can make a claim for sexual harassment.
In addition, to claim a hostile work environment sexual harassment case, you would have to show that the theory of reasonableness applied. “Reasonableness” is a legal constraint that says that if any reasonable person were in the same situation, they would be offended too. Proving reasonableness shows that you aren’t just being sensitive; while the behavior may or may not be directed specifically at you, it demonstrates that anyone who is in the workplace would also be offended.
There are other situations when one action might be considered sexual harassment. An example is if a supervisor, or someone who holds a place of authority over your work position, makes a sexual request and either implicitly or explicitly makes it clear that your compliance is dependent on your advancing within the company. It might also be that they make it known that your failure to comply will be met with negative consequences, like a demotion or termination.
Do I need a Mississippi sexual harassment lawyer?
Since there are no state laws in place, you will have to make a claim through the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Although you do have the option to file on your own, having a Mississippi sexual harassment attorney on your side is the best way to defend yourself and your position from retaliation.
The first step to take is to let the harasser and your employer know of the sexual harassment and ask the harasser to stop their inappropriate behavior. If it should proceed to a lawsuit, you will need to prove that you notified your employer that you were uncomfortable and that you asked them to step in and make it stop.
Are you entitled to compensation in Mississippi?
If you incur damages due to being the victim of sexual harassment, then you do have the right to hold your employer liable. To do so you will have to prove that they not only knew about the sexual harassment, but that they did nothing to make it better. You will also have to prove that you suffered damages – either economic or noneconomic – as a result.
That will require that you have the proper documentation to prove your case. If you check out USAttorneys.com to find your Mississippi sexual harassment lawyer, you can ensure that you will protect your position and yourself if the sexual harassment doesn’t stop. If you feel that you are a victim of sexual harassment, although there are no state guidelines in Mississippi, you do have the right to have your case heard at the federal level. Consult USAttorneys.com today to find out what you are entitled to.