Sexual harassment is a form of discrimination that violates federal and state laws. If you have been the victim of sexual harassment, you may be able to file a lawsuit against the individual or organization responsible. When you are a victim of sexual harassment, you may feel scared, alone, and helpless. However, knowing that you have rights and that some people can help you through this difficult time is essential.
Do not shy away from taking legal action against sexual harassment. Doing so can help you hold the responsible party accountable and prevent others from experiencing the same type of mistreatment.
There are different places and areas where sexual harassment can occur. It can happen in the workplace, at school, or in any other type of setting. If you have been sexually harassed, you may be able to file a lawsuit against the individual who harassed you, as well as the company or organization that they work for.
There are two types of sexual harassment: quid pro quo and a hostile work environment.
1-Quid pro quo harassment occurs when an individual’s submission to or rejection of sexual advances is used as a basis for employment decisions. For example, an employee may be offered a promotion for sexual favors.
2-A hostile work environment is created when offensive or unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature creates an environment that is difficult or impossible to work in. This can include behavior such as unwanted sexual advances, comments of a sexual nature, or displays of sexually explicit materials.
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) defines sexual harassment as “unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature.” This conduct can be direct or indirect and does not have to be explicitly sexual.
Courts have also found that non-sexual conduct can be considered sexual harassment if it is sexual and creates a hostile work environment. For example, comments about an employee’s appearance or sex life may be considered sexual harassment.
Situations to sue for sexual harassment include;
- a) If an employer offers a promotion in exchange for sexual favors: You need to show that the employer made it clear that you would only receive the promotion if you engaged in sexual activity with them. This is known as quid pro quo harassment.
- b) If an employee creates a hostile work environment: You need to show that the employee’s conduct was unwelcome and of a sexual nature and created an atmosphere that was difficult or impossible to work in.
- c) If an employer retaliates against you for reporting sexual harassment: You need to show that you reported the harassment and that the employer took adverse action against you.
- d) If you are a victim of false accusations of sexual harassment: You need to show that the allegations were wrong and that they damaged your reputation.
- e) If you are a victim of sexual assault: You need to show that you were the victim of an assault and that the assailant was responsible for the assault.
Sexual harassment can be challenging to prove, and the laws vary from state to state. If you believe you have been the victim of sexual harassment, you should contact an experienced attorney to discuss your legal options.