It can be easy to feel left out up here in the Last Frontier of Alaska. One thing that unites us all is the fact that we’re beholden to the same federal laws that apply to other states.
Laws on sexual harassment are no exception. If you’ve been the victim of sexual harassment in the workplace in Alaska, know that it’s illegal and you may be entitled to compensation. After you’ve made sure you’re safe, get in touch with an experienced, Alaska sexual harassment attorney right away to see what you can do about it.
Are there laws on sexual harassment?
It doesn’t matter how rich or powerful someone is. When they sexually harass someone in Alaska, they face the full extent of the law.
In 2020, Alaska’s own Attorney General was forced to resign from his job in Anchorage for bombarding a junior colleague with constant inappropriate text messages. The texts weren’t sexually explicit, they were just inappropriate, never-ending, and immune to polite hints by the victim.
Being the Attorney General, Kevin Clarkson appeared to be attempting to use his power or authority to pressure the younger lady into accepting his advances. He attempted inviting the girl over for wine and for dinner multiple times, and kept sending her kissing emojis and calling her beautiful.
Of course, Clarkson ended up saying it was all “G-rated” and mutual, but anyone who looks at the texts can logically assume his intentions.
Sexual harassment is illegal at both the Alaskan state level and Federal level.
Under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, all sex-based discrimination, including sexual harassment, is banned. This applies to all private and public employers with more than 15 or more employees.
At the state level, all companies regardless of size are subject to the Alaska Human Rights Law which also bans sexual harassment. The exceptions to this law are social clubs and fraternal, charitable, educational, or religious associations or corporations, as long as the company or organization is a non-profit.
There are two main types of sexual harassment
- Quid-pro-quo sexual harassment
- Hostile work environment sexual harassment
Quid-pro-quo is when an employer or higher-ranking employee tries to exchange a job benefit to another employee for sexual favors. A classic example is when someone’s boss bribes them with a pay raise in exchange for sleeping with them.
“Hostile work environment” is when someone is subject to some type of sexually hostile behavior that puts them in a hostile or uncomfortable environment.
This can include:
- Unwanted touching, sexual advances, or rape
- Spamming someone’s phone, stalking them, waiting around their car after work, etc.
- Rude, crude comments, or insults
- Unsolicited sexualized photos or pornography
These are just some examples, but this category of sexual harassment is very vast and encompasses many different acts.
If you were the victim of sexual harassment in Alaska, get in touch with an experienced attorney today to see if you’re eligible for compensation.