Sexual Harassment

Sexual harassment is a form of sex-based discrimination, which includes “unwanted sexual advances, or visual, verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature.”

Sexual Harassment

Sexual harassment is a form of sex-based discrimination, which includes “unwanted sexual advances, or visual, verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature.” The victim, as well as the harasser, can be a woman or a man, and the victim does not have to be of the opposite sex of the harasser. Additionally, the victim does not have to be the person harassed, but can be anyone offended by the harassing conduct. The harasser can be a supervisor, coworker, and even a non-employee.

How do you know if you are the victim of sexual harassment?

Not every type of unwanted behavior in the workplace constitutes illegal harassment. While minor, isolated incidents and behavior likely will not constitute sexual harassment, behavior that is so severe or pervasive that it creates a hostile work environment is illegal. Illegal sexual harassment also includes requests for sexual favors in exchange for hiring, promotion, benefits, or continued employment. This is known as “quid pro quo” harassment. To help determine whether you have been the victim of illegal sexual harassment, ask yourself the following questions:
1. Has someone in the workplace made unwanted advances toward you or touched you inappropriately?

2. Have you been exposed to behavior, language, or seen things in the workplace of a sexual nature that offended you?

3. Has the behavior either been really bad or does it happen constantly?

4. Have you been offered advancement or an increase in pay in exchange for sexual favors, or have you been demoted or your pay reduced because you rebuffed sexual advances?

How we can help you.

Employers are not always liable for harassment that happens in the workplace. If an employee is being sexually harassed in the workplace, the law requires the employee to report the behavior to the employer. If the victim of harassment fails to do so, he or she may not be able to pursue a legal claim against the employer. However, a victim of “quid pro quo” sexual harassment may not have to report the behavior to have a legal claim against the employer. Navigating a sexual harassment claim can be difficult. Employers have a team of people, including lawyers and human resources employees, to help guide them through legal issues. You need your own team to help navigate this complex process. If you feel you may have been the victim of sexual harassment, call CLC for a free phone consultation. We’ve got your back.

If you feel you have been the victim of sexual harassment or you have been retaliated against for complaining about sexual harassment, you should do the following:

1. Document Everything.

Take notes during any meetings, and keep a journal of any communications or events that relate to the harassment. Write down the names of people who harassed you and those who may have witnessed the harassment. Be cautious, however, about making audio recordings, video recordings, or taking photographs in the workplace, without checking your employer’s policies first.

2. If you feel you are being sexually harassed, complain to your employer according to its policies and procedures.

Be sure that you tell your employer not only that you are being harassed, but that you feel it is on the basis of sex. Although not required, it is best to communicate any complaints in writing.

3. Save all relevant documents.

Save all relevant documents, emails, recordings, records of communication, phone logs, text messages, etc. related to your employment and the harassment.

4. Don’t Quit.

Your job is important to you, and you should not be forced out because your employer is not following the law. Call CLC, and we will help enforce your rights.

Let’s talk about how we can help: