Nebraska takes a tough stance on sexual harassment. Whether you live in Lincoln or any other city, you are protected by state law against sexual harassment in the workplace. In addition, civil rights laws at the federal level offer you considerable protection against forms of sexual harassment that may not be covered by Nebraska’s laws.
If you have experienced sexual harassment, you should consult with a qualified attorney as soon as possible. Even if you believe that you have experienced a relatively minor case of sexual harassment, you shouldn’t simply forget about these incidents and move on. People need to be held accountable for violating strict laws in Nebraska, and it’s up to you to report them to the proper authorities. When you team up with an attorney who has a solid understanding of employment law, it becomes much easier to achieve justice.
Filing a Complaint
If you have experienced sexual harassment in your workplace, your first step should be to report the incident as soon as possible to your employer. Even if you believe that your employer will not take your complaint seriously, you still need to do this so that there’s a written record of the incident taking place. Keep a copy of the written complaint as evidence.
You can obtain an official complaint form from your nearest NEOC Office. For best results, have your complaint notarized and sent to the NEOC within 300 days of the alleged incident. The commission will then investigate your complaint and contact you with their findings. This may then result in a Public Hearing.
Don’t Be Afraid To Complain
Remember, it is illegal for your employer to fire you because you complained. If you have evidence that your employer terminated your job because you complained about incidences of sexual harassment, you can pursue legal action against them.
What Counts as Sexual Harassment in Nebraska?
The Nebraska Equal Opportunity Commission has outlined specific guidelines when determining whether an incident classifies as sexual harassment. This organization considers a number of factors, including:
- The specific circumstances of each situation, on a case-by-case basis
- Whether or not a “reasonable person” would find the situation offensive, humiliating, or harmful
- The perception of the victim
The Two Types of Sexual Harassment
There are two main types of sexual harassment in Nebraska:
- Quid Pro Quo: This is when a person of authority engages in sexual harassment with the implication that your consent to such behavior will impact promotion, work assignment, compensation, and other conditions of employment.
- Hostile Environment: A workplace contact who does not impact conditions of employment may also engage in sexual harassment by creating a hostile work environment. Their conduct must be “severe or pervasive” to constitute sexual harassment in the eyes of the law.
Seek Help as Soon as Possible
Remember, your first step should always be to report the incident and make it clear that you are not comfortable with the work environment or the individual that has engaged in sexual harassment. The longer you wait, the more difficult it becomes to pursue legal action.