Sexual Harassment at Work

Are you in need of a sexual harassment lawyer? Have you experienced harassment at work?  Have the actions or comments by another worker made you feel uncomfortable while at your job?

Sexual harassment refers to when someone has received unwelcome sexual advances at the workplace. There are typically two types of sexual harassment. One results in the granting or denial of workplace privileges, the other results in what is called a hostile work environment. The harassment laws forbid both types of conduct.

The first type of sexual harassment is called “Quid pro quo” harassment. Harassment laws define quid pro quo as someone, typically a supervisor, who conditions employment or certain benefits of one’s employment on his or her submission to sexual advances.  A common example of this form of harassment is found when an employer offers a promotion in exchange for sexual favors.  Another example of this kind of workplace harassment is when an employee is fired for refusing to date or provide sexual favors for his or her boss.

“Hostile work environment” harassment, however, refers to when unwelcome sexual conduct by another becomes either so common or so severe that it affects the person’s ability to work.  An example of this would be constant, day-to-day sexual comments directed toward an employee which are so unwelcome and egregious that the employee no longer feels safe at work.

Of course, not all situations fall into such clear-cut categories.  Workplace harassment may take the form of sexual comments not directed at you, but at coworkers.  Even still, if the comments are severe or pervasive, this may still constitute a hostile work environment.  Further, while some employers may condition a job or job benefits expressly on the performance of sexual favors, others may be more subtle.  It is common, for example, for supervisors to approach subordinates and engage in a pattern of flirting, with the expectation of return flirting.  Often employees faced with this predicament find that rejecting the flirting may negatively impact performance reviews or job assignments.  Worse, other employees discover that accepting or reciprocating the flirting for fear of losing their job results in a never ending pattern of unwelcome sexual advances from the supervisor. Our workplace sexual harassment lawyers can help determine if you are experiencing one or both forms of unlawful sexual harassment.

The harassment laws make clear that any employer either engaging in sexual harassment, condoning workplace harassment, or failing to prevent or correcta hostile work environment may be subject to a sexual harassment lawsuit, and consequently may be subject to paying damages, potentially including punitive damages, attorney fees, and arguably back pay or front pay if the employee was terminated in retaliation for opposing the harassment or if the employee was left with no other choice but to resign in order to avoid harassing conduct.

A sexual harassment lawyer who is exceptionally familiar with workplace harassment laws will be able to analyze and apply the law to your situation to determine what type of recovery you will be able to achieve.  If you feel a coworker or supervisor’s conduct is inappropriate or is making you uncomfortable, do not hesitate to contact a workplace harassment lawyer at Widman & Franklin, LLC. At our firm, our employment attorneys have successfully achieved financial compensation in hundreds of sexual harassment cases for clients.