Although we would all love to work in environments free of harassment of any kind, there is still a great deal of progress to make in this area. Many of us experience sexual harassment in the workplace on a regular basis, but may not know how to proceed or may worry that the treatment may not technically qualify as harassment. If you believe that you suffer from sexual harassment in the workplace, it is always wise to consult with an empathetic, committed attorney who can examine the details of your experience for actionable violations.
In broad strokes, any time that a person in a position of authority requires a subordinate to tolerate or participate in any sexual behavior in order to keep or obtain employment, this is sexual harassment. Even if this kind of behavior only occurs once, it may justify a sexual harassment suit.
However, sometimes harassment is not as obvious as this. If your workplace features other employees who engage in harassing behavior, and if your employer does nothing to permanently deal with the issue, then you may also have grounds for a suit.
A court will examine a number of factors to determine if hostile environment sexual harassment exists. The court may look at the frequency of the occurrences, how many individuals were affected, whether more than one individual participated in the harassing behavior and the nature of the behavior itself.
Plaintiffs must also demonstrate that they found the behavior offensive, and that a reasonable person would likewise find it offensive.
If you believe that you suffer workplace harassment, do not hesitate to seek professional legal guidance. With proper guidance by a committed attorney, you can ensure that your work experience is free from offensive treatment, protecting your rights and the rights of workers everywhere.
Source: Findlaw, “Sexual Harassment at Work,” accessed May 03, 2017