Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 protects employees against two types of sexual harassment and applies to private employers who have 15 or more employees working for them [Source: National Conference of State Legislatures]. Employees who work for the government or a labor organization are also protected under Title VII. The two types of sexual harassment Title VII protects employees against include:
- Quid Pro Quo Harassment
Sexual harassment is considered a form of quid pro quo harassment when it involves someone who is considered an authority figure (e.g. a supervisor, manager, etc.) who demands sexual favors from an employee in return for one or more employment benefits. An example of quid pro quo harassment might include an employer who forces an employee to submit to sexual demands to avoid being fired or demoted.
An employer might also be guilty of committing quid pro quo harassment when they demand sexual favors in exchange for job security.
- Hostile Work Environment Harassment
Sexual harassment is considered hostile work environment harassment when an employer, customer, client, or even a co-worker engages in offensive or unwanted sexual conduct that “alters employment conditions.” This, in turn, creates a hostile or abusive environment for an employee to work in.
When an Employee in Oklahoma is Being Sexually Harassed at Work
If an employee is a victim of quid pro quo or hostile work environment harassment, they can evoke their rights under Title VII by reporting their employer or another individual in the workplace for engaging in unwanted sexual conduct. Sexual harassment complaints can be filed with any of the following:
- The Oklahoma Office of Civil Rights Enforcement
- The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)
- The victim’s employer or someone higher up in the company.
- An Oklahoma sexual harassment lawyer
Can employees in Oklahoma recover compensation if they were subjected to offensive sexual conduct at work?
An employee who has been sexually harassed at work may be entitled to recover compensation for certain things like back pay or mental anguish, given they qualify to receive this, if they file a civil lawsuit against their employer. When an employee files a civil action against their employer, it means they are suing them. Employees who choose to sue their employer are typically looking to recover financial relief for the impact their employer’s behavior has had on them and/or their finances.
If an employee is being sexually harassed by their employer and they work in Oklahoma City, Tulsa, Norman, or any other city in Oklahoma, they might want to consider filing a charge of discrimination against their employer first before taking legal action. In some cases, it can benefit an employee’s case to file a charge prior to filing a lawsuit. In the event an Oklahoma employee would like to learn more about filing a charge of discrimination or how much they might be entitled to collect if they were to sue their employer, they can contact an Oklahoma sexual harassment lawyer.
USAttorneys.com is available to help individuals who are victims of sexual harassment locate a sexual harassment attorney in their area who is qualified to help them.