Sexual harassment at work is a hot-button issue these days. Every few months there’s a new story about a case against a politician or a large corporation. Some say people are too accepting of it. While others say people are seeing sexual harassment where there isn’t any. It’s hard to be sure if the workplace issues you’ve had are serious legal infractions or not.
Sexual harassment is a form of discrimination. Specifically it violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. This includes requests for sexual favors, and unwelcome sexual advances. It covers other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature. Sexual harassment effects an individual’s employment by interfering with work performance. Most of all, it creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive work environment. The victim should use any employer complaint mechanism or grievance system available. Furthermore, you can also file criminal charges against the harasser.
The best way to stop sexual harassment in the workplace is prevention. First of all, employers should clearly communicate to employees. Sexual harassment is not something to tolerate. Secondly, there should be an effective complaint system in place. Employers who take harassment seriously act immediately and appropriately.
Do you feel you were a victim of sexual harassment? Please call us for a confidential consultation. Our attorneys can help you hold the responsible parties accountable for their harm. If we agree to accept your case, we will work on a contingent fee basis. Meaning we get payment for our services only if there is a monetary award or recovery of funds. Call The Law Offices of L. Clayton Burgess Today!
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Legally speaking, there are two types of sexual harassment at workplaces. Both Federal law and Louisiana state law recognize “Quid Pro Quo” and “Hostile Environment”.
Quid Pro Quo is when sexual favors are a condition of continued employment. It can be from supervisor or other employee with authority over you. Your boss might make it clear that your employment is dependent on you doing sexual favors for them. For example, whether or not you’re fired, hired, promoted, or getting a raise.
Sexual harassment law isn’t meant to be a replacement for office conduct codes. Workplace banter, commentary, and jokes aren’t illegal. Nor are misunderstandings or isolated instances of poor behavior. To qualify for sexual harassment, workplace behavior must create a hostile work environment. It must also affect your ability perform or succeed at work. In short, harassment is threatening, unwanted, and disrespectful.
Sexual harassment at work is very prevalent and under reported. In 2016, 29.5% of Louisiana’s workplace discrimination charges were for sex discrimination.
Source: EEOC Charge Receipts by State for 2016