The Washington Law Against Discrimination strictly prohibits any employer from discriminating against someone based on their sex, sexual orientation, or their marital status. Sexual orientation encompasses bisexuality, homosexuality, heterosexuality, self-image, gender identity, appearance, expression or sexual behavior. The law governs all employers with more than eight workers both in the public and the private sectors. On the federal level, employees are also protected against sexual discrimination by Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. So, there is no reason to grin and bear it.
How to prove sexual harassment
When you are being sexually harassed, it isn’t just that someone has made an offensive joke in the office. To prove sexual harassment, you must show that someone’s behavior is egregious and pervasive enough to create a hostile workplace atmosphere, and that it is impeding your ability to function properly in the workplace. The harassing behaviors have to be repetitious, threatening, and intimidating enough to negatively affect your ability to work. You also have to show that it isn’t just you who is offended by the behavior. In a court of law, you would have to prove that any “reasonable” person who was in the same situation would find the behavior equally offensive and hostile.
Sexual behaviors can encompass a variety of things, but the most common forms of misconduct are sexual innuendos, unwelcome sexual advances, lewd gestures or sounds, explicit sexual material and derogatory sexual remarks.
Another way that you can be a victim of sexual harassment is if someone who holds power over your position within the company makes a sexual request and makes it either implicitly or explicitly clear that your status in the organization is reliant upon you acquiescing to their request. Also, if a supervisor or boss offers you an advancement or perks in exchange for a requested sexual favor, that is considered “quid pro quo” sexual harassment and it is against the law.
What to do if you are being victimized
If you are the victim of either form of sexual harassment, then you do have resources available to make it stop. The first thing you must do is to make both your boss and your harasser aware that the behavior is inappropriate and that it needs to cease immediately. Filing a formal complaint with the company is imperative if you should have to escalate the case. Hiring a Washington sexual harassment attorney to ensure that you are doing things correctly is a crucial step to laying the foundation in case you can’t get the harassment to stop through your employer.
Your Washington sexual harassment attorney should also help you file federally through the Equal Employment Opportunities Commission to ensure that you are leaving the proper paper trail should you need the documentation to go to court.
Can my employer be held liable for sexual harassment?
If you can prove that you made your employer aware of the inappropriate misconduct and that they did nothing to ameliorate the situation, and you suffered damages as a result, then yes, you can hold them accountable in a court of law. In sexual harassment cases, you are entitled to both compensatory and punitive damages, depending on the egregious nature of the sexual harassment. Things that you can recover for are lost wages, emotional distress, loss of promotion, or any perks that you might have missed due to the sexual harassment.
To ensure that you can prove your case should you need to, it is imperative that you contact USAttorneys.com today; they can connect you with an experienced Washington sexual harassment lawyer who can help you follow the proper procedures and have the documentation necessary to prove your case if it goes in front of judge and jury.