Sexual harassment can take many forms. It includes unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other physical or verbal harassment of a sexual nature. Sexual harassment also includes offensive remarks about a person’s sex.
Sexual harassment is against the law when it is so severe or frequent that it creates a hostile or offensive work environment. Sexual harassment is also illegal when it results in an adverse employment action such as an employee being demoted, fired, denied training or denied promotion.
Categories of Sexual Harassment
The two categories of sexual harassment in the workplace are:
- Quid Pro Quo Harassment. This type of harassment occurs when the employee feels compelled to tolerate sexual harassment in order to keep his or her job or to get a raise or promotion.
- Hostile Work Environment Harassment. This type of harassment occurs when the conduct unreasonably alters or interferes with the employee’s work performance, or creates an abusive, hostile or offensive work environment.
The laws that protect against sexual harassment apply regardless of gender or sexual orientation. The harasser and the victim can be either a woman or a man. The harasser and the victim can be the same gender.
The harasser may be an owner, executive, manager, supervisor, or even a co-worker. In fact, the harasser does not have to be employed by the employer. Under some circumstances, you may have a claim against your employer for sexual harassment by their customer or client.
Protecting Your Legal Rights
If you have experienced sexual harassment in the workplace, then you should consult with an experienced employment lawyer immediately to protect your rights. Your lawyer can help you file a claim, prepare your evidence, and protect you from unlawful retaliation.
Do not delay. The time limits to file a sexual harassment claim are very short.
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