Employees are legally protected from having to work in a discriminatorily hostile or abusive environment. Workplace conduct that is prohibited includes unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature.
Examples of unlawful sexual harassment include employees who are:
- pressured or forced to have sex to keep their job;
- subjected to unwanted sexual attention, touching, or jokes at work;
- exposed to pornography against their will;
- and subjected to retaliation for complaining about sexual harassment.
Ranson Law Results
Settlement with municipality after male employee was sexually harassed by supervisor
Settlement with university after multiple female employees reported unwelcome touching and sexually charged language used by male superior
What is Sex Harassment?
Sexual harassment at work occurs if the employee is subjected to unwelcome conduct on the basis of the employee’s sex that affects the employee’s job. The U.S. Supreme Court has defined two kinds of unlawful sexual harassment.
The first kind is harassment that results in a tangible employment action. This is called “quid pro quo.” An example of quid pro quo is when a manager pressures or forces a subordinate employee to have sex to keep her job. It is important to note that this kind of sexual harassment can be committed only by someone who can make or strongly influence employment actions that hurt the employee, such as firing, demotion, and the denial of a promotion.
The second kind of sexual harassment is called a “hostile environment.” A hostile environment can result from the sex-based unwelcome conduct of supervisors and co-workers. Examples of actions that create a hostile work environment are:
- discussing sexual activities;
- telling jokes about sex;
- using crude and offensive language or gestures;
- commenting on an employee’s physical appearance;
- displaying sexually charged images;
- and offensive touching.
There are administrative procedures with short deadlines that must be pursued prior to bringing a claim for Sexual Harassment. Therefore, it is advisable to contact an attorney soon after the harassment and/or retaliation has occurred. Ranson Law Offices is very experienced in litigating sexual harassment cases. In order to protect your rights, it is advisable to contact Ranson Law Offices soon after the harassment and/or retaliation has occurred.