New York – January 19, 2021
Private corporations usually have standard operating procedures and human resource policy that provides for an explanation of grounds for termination related to workplace, or sexual harassment of their employees and other work-related professional associates. High profile cases such as those related to professional baseball reveal that actions can be taken for explicit texting to other professionals. Apart from business agreements between employers and employees, State and Federal law offer their own protections against this unwanted behavior, and provide for private employers to act against it. Sexual harassment attorneys can work with corporations and their human resources department to reduce workplace sexual harassment.
Sexual harassment is a form of sex discrimination that violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Title VII applies to employers with 15 or more employees, including state and local governments. It also applies to employment agencies, labor organizations, and the federal government. If there is some reason that a victim is not protected under Title VII language, a civil rights, personal injury, or employment law attorney may be able to offer another means toward compensation when sexual harassment causes harm and damage to an employee.
Identify sexual harassment.
Unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature constitutes sexual harassment, when this conduct explicitly or implicitly affects an individual’s employment, unreasonably interferes with an individual’s work performance, or creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive work environment. Sexual harassment is situational and can occur in many work associated encounters.
Address and report.
Victims should directly inform the harasser that their conduct is unwelcome and insist that it stops. Employer policies should be referenced and a victim should use any employer complaint mechanism, or grievance system available. The more information contained in the complaint including proof of the allegations where possible will give strength to claims taken to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). When investigating allegations of sexual harassment, EEOC looks at the circumstances, such as the nature of the sexual advances, and the context in which the alleged incidents occurred. A positive settlement award may be the result of a strong case presented by experienced legal counsel.
- All employees should be made aware of employer’s policy on sexual harassment from the first day of employment.
- Make sure the organization has an objective party that can accept a sexual harassment complaint in the event a person cannot go to their immediate supervisor.
- Investigate the complaint.
- Talk with employee who has made the complaint and advise that they should follow up if there is any form of retaliation.
- Assure the accused that an unbiased examination of the facts will occur.
- Interview witnesses to the harassment action.
- Interview the accused harasser.
- Consult with human resources and legal counsel.
- Reprimand or terminate the employee with notice in their employee file.
Speak with a lawyer.
Sexual harassment claims are only valid if the sexual behavior exhibited is unwelcomed, and it can affect both men and women in the workplace, without relevance to positions held at a place of employment. If you, or someone you know is a victim of sexual harassment, or related sexual assault, seek out a professional attorney for guidance toward legal actions that will remedy the situation.
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