What is Sexual Harassment in the Workplace? Know Your Rights as an Employee.

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If you are the recipient of unwelcome and unwanted sexual advances or gender-based hostility where you work, act right away, report each instance to your superior, or to your employer so that your employer has the opportunity to take immediate, effective and appropriate action to correct the problem. Your employer has the legal obligation to put immediate stop to harassment in its tracks and to make sure that all employees are educated and trained on appropriate workplace conduct. If the steps taken to prevent harassment do not produce satisfactory results, then you may have a claim for sexual harassment under state and federal law. If you are victimized further or retaliated against for complaining which can occur when the complaint concerns high level individuals in an organization, an experienced employment law attorney can help you evaluate whether you have a viable claim and if so, help you take legal action.

Sexual harassment can take many different forms, ranging from hurtful gestures, pictures or comments about a person’s body, private parts, appearance or sexual activities to unwelcome physical touching that may be tantamount to a physical assault on your person depending on the circumstances. Legally speaking, however, most of these cases fall into two separate overarching categories that focus on the nature of the abusive conduct.

Harassment can take many forms. For example,sexual harassment occurs when a director, manager or supervisor preconditions job opportunities on an employee’s submission to sexual advances..

A hostile work environment refers to cases where employees experience offensive, intimidating, sexually charged, or oppressive atmosphere in the workplace. Employees may feel pressured to quit because of the unavoidable harassment they endure. Remember, an employee has the right to feel safe from harassment of any kind.

If you are experiencing sexual harassment at work and your employer has failed to take the appropriate and corrective action required, you should consider whether to file a claim with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) or an equivalent state agency. Such claims have strict timelines during which they must be filed. A typical expiration date is that claims with a government agency for harassment or alleged illegal workplace actions are to be filed within 180 days of the last instance of sexual harassment, unless state law permits an extension. If the EEOC or state agency agrees that a violation has occurred, they may try to reach a voluntary settlement with your employer. If no agreement can be reached, the EEOC or state agency may issue a Right-to-Sue letter, allowing you to pursue a lawsuit in a court of law assuming no other barriers would prevent it such as a pre-employment agreement that you will arbitrate any disputes with your employer. For legal help with a sexual harassment case, contact an experienced employment.

This article should not be considered legal advice. It is merely suggested action you might consider taking if you or a friend is victimized in the workplace.


About Martin E. Regan, Jr.

Year after year, Martin E. Regan Jr., the firm’s senior partner, has dedicated tireless efforts on behalf of the accused and produce wins for clients that a less determined advocate would have thought hopeless.  Martin E. Regan Jr.’s ability to tackle and win tough criminal cases has resulted in verdicts of acquittal in many highly publicized trials.


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