sexual
harassment

Cases of sexual harassment are complicated
and sensitive by nature.

Cases of sexual harassment are complicated and sensitive by nature. You will want an attorney handling your case who possesses an exceptional amount of discretion and a superior level of expertise and understanding of such matters. At Bracken Lamberton, we are highly experienced at litigating sexual harassment cases, and we can help you. 

If you think that you are the victim of sexual harassment or if you have been retaliated against for lodging a complaint against the harassment, you may be entitled to compensation for lost wages, anguish or humiliation, lost benefits as well as punitive damages. 

Our compassionate and dedicated legal team will help you navigate your sexual harassment case. We understand that these are often highly emotional situations, and they may have a long-term effect on your life and career. We are ready to listen to you, learn about your story, and offer our legal guidance to help you gain closure and any compensation you are legally entitled to obtain.

Understanding Sexual Harassment

In our many years of experience litigating sexual harassment cases, we often encounter victims who may not be aware that they are protected against such unwanted harassment by both federal and state laws. Some people think that they have no option but to endure and tolerate the harassment to maintain their employment. 

The truth is sexual harassment is a type of discrimination, and it is illegal. If a person is sexually harassed or bullied while doing their job, that person’s ability to work and stay employed has been compromised because of their sex or gender identity. Such harassment is a violation of federal as well as state law.  

What is Considered Sexual Harassment:

  • Sexual harassment includes the following actions regardless if they are direct or implied:
  • Making sexual comments or remarks
  • Advances and physical contact
  • A request or demand for sexual favors
  • Displaying or showing pornography
  • Any unwelcome conduct (verbal, non-verbal, or physical) that is sexual in nature.  

As a rule, if a supervisor or a co-worker acts in a way that includes any form of sexual connotation that makes you feel uncomfortable or uneasy, that is considered sexual harassment. Such actions should never be tolerated, and there are legal options that can be used to make the situation right for you.

Types of Sexual Harassment.

The Equal Employment Opportunity (EEOC) has defined two types of sexual harassment:

Quid Pro Quo

This type of sexual harassment occurs when there is a connection between the condition of employment and how an employee responds to a sexual advance. Quid Pro Quo sexual harassment is typically seen when an employee rejects sexual advances and then alleges that it has resulted in an adverse job action. Examples of such adverse job actions may include loss of work hours, denial of a prometon or raise, reduction of salary, suspension, or termination. The victim of sexual harassment may also claim that sexual harassment and conduct made the work environment so unbearable that they had to quit their job. Such action is referred to as “constructive discharge.” 

Hostile Environment

A hostile work environment is established when a supervisor or employee displays sexually physical or verbal conduct that alters the victims working conditions and/or creates an environment that is sexually charged or intimidating. Anytime unwelcome sexual behavior or advances occur, a hostile work environment is created. Generally, sexual conduct must repeatedly occur for a work environment to be considered hostile. However, some one time actions or comments may be so severe that they create a liability. A hostile work environment claim that involves sexual harassment is much more common than the quid pro quo type. 

Examples of Sexual Harassment

As soon as you recognized sexual harassment, report it to your supervisor or your Human Resources Department immediately. If you are the focus of sexual harassment, it can often be challenging and difficult to separate yourself from the incident and recognize that something must be done. To help you better identify sexual harassment that may occur in the workplace, consider these examples:

  • A supervisor suggests that an employee exchange sexual favors for a raise.
  • A co-worker repeatedly sends sexually themed jokes by company email.
  • An employee is ridiculed or bullied for their gender identity or sexual orientation.
  • A co-worker consistently brushes up against other employees or makes sexual advances.
  • A supervisor manipulates an employee into thinking that providing sexual favors is necessary for promotion. 

Some acts of sexual harassment may be subtle. Those subtle acts may grow into a greater problem if they are not reported and addressed appropriately and quickly.

The Effects of Sexual Harassment

Effects of sexual harassment can be traumatic for a victim and life-changing.

At Work

The act of sexual harassment is meant to make an employee feel that they are powerless. The more an employee enduring the harassment, the more their work productivity, and the overall quality of the employee’s work will suffer. In some instances, this will affect the employee’s chances for promotion and advancement and can even adversely affect their professional reputation. 

At Home

As the sexual harassment continues, the employee’s ability to trust, and their confidence may also be affected. Some victims of sexual harassment feel as though they have no control of workplace harassment and this feeling of control loss invades other aspects of their life. Significant financial problems may also arise from the loss of hours and wages that lead to other difficulties at home.

Your Health

Sexual harassment will often cause an employee to feel stress and anxiety, leading to other health problems. Typical health concerns that may arise from being a victim of sexual harassment include anxiety attacks, depression, breathing problems, heart issues, and alcohol or eating disorders. 

What You Can Do

If you are a target and victim of sexual harassment in the workplace, know that there are both federal and state laws that will protect you. The company or organization you work for will also have policies on sexual harassment. You should review that policy and file a complaint to initiate an investigation. 

At Bracken Lamberton, we are also here to help you protect your legal rights. Our team of compassionate legal professionals will get you the justice, respect, and compensation that you deserve. 

Understanding Sexual Harassment

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