Individuals who believe they have been sexually harassed in the workplace must identify that the conduct displayed by another employee or employer was unwelcome and unlawful. According to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), harassment is considered to be unlawful when “enduring the offensive conduct becomes a condition of continued employment or the conduct is severe or pervasive enough to create a work environment that a reasonable person would consider intimidating, hostile, or abusive.” And that is where the connection lies between sexual harassment and a hostile work environment.
The term hostile can be defined as many things including “having an intimidating, antagonistic, or offensive nature,” and offensive conduct may include any of the following:
- Offensive jokes
- Epithets or name calling
- Physical assaults or threats
- Ridicule or mockery
- Insults or put-downs
- Offensive objects or pictures
- Interference with work performance
When an employer or a co-worker engages in any of the behaviors mentioned above that carry a sexual connotation with them which results in a person feeling offended, intimidated, or disliked, the victim of such behavior could then report it as sexual harassment.
How do I report a case of sexual harassment?
There are different ways you can go about reporting a case of sexual harassment. For instance, you can contact your human resources department and follow the steps they provide you with to get your complaint filed. You also have the option of contacting the EEOC. The EEOC states that “harassment is a form of employment discrimination that violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967, (ADEA), and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, (ADA).Therefore, if the behavior an employer or another coworker displayed made you feel uncomfortable and has resulted in you having to work in a hostile work environment, you can file a Charge of Discrimination with the EEOC. “A charge of discrimination is a signed statement asserting that an employer, union or labor organization engaged in employment discrimination” and once it is filed, it “requests the EEOC to take remedial action.” Another option you have is to contact a Houston, TX sexual harassment lawyer who will take the time to explain your rights and help you take the appropriate form of action depending on the severity of the incident.
Many individuals who are victims of sexual harassment will often choose to contact a lawyer first as they are either afraid to speak with their employer about the issue or their employer is the one who is engaging in the unlawful act. Attorneys who have experience in handling sexual harassment claims understand how difficult it can be for a victim to come forward and report the behavior they have been subjected to but will keep all information confidential and only take legal action when asked to do so. Therefore, when you meet with a sexual harassment attorney, it doesn’t mean you are ready to file a lawsuit or call out your employer, rather, you have the option of obtaining the information you need so that you can make an informed decision on how you want to address the problem.
If you would like to meet with a sexual misconduct lawyer in the Houston, TX area who can provide you with some legal advice and guidance, contact the legal experts at Moore & Associates. The lawyers at this firm are available 24/7 to address your questions and concerns and are ready to provide you with the help you need to get through this confusing and difficult time.
You can reach Moore & Associates at:
440 Louisiana St #675
Houston, TX 77002