Like most states, victims of sexual harassment are protected under both federal and state laws. Any employer can be liable when they or someone from their company engages in sexual harassment against someone else in the organization, regardless of gender or sexual orientation.
Such offenses can destroy companies, reputations, and the emotional wellbeing of those involved. Sometimes the legal process can be complex, so if you’ve been involved with a sexual harassment incident, don’t hesitate to get in touch with an experienced attorney to prove your case for you.
Oregon’s Workplace Sexual Harassment Laws
Employers can be found guilty of sexual harassment if evidence shows that they or anyone affiliated with their organization sexually harassed someone in the workplace. These include, but are obviously not limited to:
- Inappropriate touching
- Unwanted, unreciprocated sexual advances, especially when already the aggressor has already been told once to stop
- Lewd, rude, or inappropriate comments, emails, phone calls, or text messages
A common type of sexual harassment is known as “quid-pro-quo” sexual harassment whereby a higher ranking member of a company attempts to exchange a tangible job benefit, such as a promotion or bonus, for sexual favors. If it can be proven that someone was denied a promotion because they didn’t provide a sexual favor, employers can be in deep trouble
Some things that are not considered sexual harassment are:
- Consensual relationships or “hookups”
- Non-sexual compliments
- Asking someone out on a date
Employers are required to keep their work environment free of sexual harassment
Oregon’s Bureau of Labor & Industries (BOLI) states that all employers are required to have a clear, concise policy to “prevent harassment, discrimination, and sexual assault” under the Workplace Fairness Act.
Under the Workplace Fairness Act, sexual harassment becomes a form of discrimination. BOLI states that harassment or discrimination against anyone because of their “race, color, sex, sexual orientation, national origin, religion, marital status, uniformed service disability or age,” is in fact illegal.
Every employer in the state of Oregon is required by law to provide employees with a copy of their anti-discrimination policies when they are hired and make them easily available to review.
Whether you file a lawsuit at the federal or state level will depend on your case, and this something your attorney can help you with. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) requires that you file a discrimination charge with them within 300 days before you attempt to file a federal lawsuit.
However, under Oregon law, a victim has five years from the date of the last sexual harassment to file a complaint either with BOLI’s Civil Rights Division or to file a lawsuit against the employer. These can be tough bureaucracies to navigate, and having an attorney can make this process a lot smoother and faster.
Have you been involved with a sexual assault?
Attorneys are available from Portland to Parkdale waiting to assist you right now in your sexual harassment lawsuit.
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