Utah Sexual Harassment Law
The success of any company is highly relative to the satisfaction and investment of their employees. If you have a supportive and secure work environment, then you are bringing out the best in everyone. Unfortunately, sometimes all it takes is one person to change the dynamics and make the workplace hostile. If you are in an office setting in Utah where someone is discriminating against you, or you are the victim of sexual harassment, you don’t have to suffer through it or compromise your own advancement. There are many resources available at both the state and federal levels to make the harassment stop, and to get everyone in the office back on track.
According to the Utah Anti-Discrimination Act, it is illegal to discriminate against anyone in the workplace due to their sex, pregnancy, or any medical condition related to pregnancy and childbirth. The Act governs any employer who has more than 15 workers on the payroll. Sexual harassment falls under the scope of the Anti-Discrimination Act, as well as under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and is illegal in the state of Utah. So if you are being sexually harassed, you do have the right to file a claim to make it stop.
When it is more than just banter
There are always going to be times in an office atmosphere when someone is going to be offended by something someone says or does. But sexual harassment isn’t about one single joke or offensive comment. It is a pervasive and systemic series of intimidating and threatening behaviors that impede someone from performing at work.
The behavior must be repetitious enough to hinder your ability to advance, and to create a hostile work environment for the office. To prove sexual harassment, you also have to show the theory of “reasonableness.” In legal terms, that means that you must demonstrate that it isn’t just you who finds the behaviors offensive, but that if any “reasonable” person were in your shoes, they would also find it offensive.
Although many behaviors can be sexually intimidating and threatening, the most common forms of sexually harassing misconduct are non consensual touching, inappropriate gender-based jokes, sexually explicit material, unwelcome sexual advances, sexual innuendos and lewd comments that are continuous and contribute to making the work atmosphere uncomfortable.
Sexual harassment can also come in one single request for a sexual favor. If someone who has power over your position propositions you for a sexual favor and makes it either explicitly or implicitly clear that your compliance has a bearing on your status at work, that is considered “quid pro quo” sexual harassment. Also, if your employer offers you a benefit if you perform a sexual favor, that is also quid pro quo harassment.
Follow the guidelines to be safe
If you are being sexually harassed, your company should have specific guidelines that they follow when someone makes a claim for sexual harassment. The first place to start is to make both your harasser and your employer aware of the inappropriate nature of someone’s behavior.
Filing a complaint with either your employer or the human resources department is a critical first step. If the case should escalate, you will want to have proof that you followed the proper procedures. To ensure that your position is protected when filing, you might want to hire a Utah sexual harassment lawyer to help guide you through the case.
Your attorney will also want to file a complaint at the federal level through the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission to establish a paper trail, should your case go to trial.
What is my employer liable for?
If you can prove that you made your employer aware that you were sexually harassed and they failed to take action and that you suffered damages because they didn’t act, then they might be found liable to pay both compensatory and punitive damages.
To ensure that you are taking the proper steps to file your sexual harassment claim – and in the event that it doesn’t stop, to hold your employer liable – you will want to consult USAttorneys.com. They can connect you with an experienced Utah sexual harassment lawyer who can help to guide you through the process and get the harassment to stop so you can get back on track.