Identifying Sexual Harassment in the Workplace
Victims of sexual harassment in the workplace face many uncomfortable and burdensome challenges that may have long-term serious effects on both physical and mental well-being. Sexual harassment is characterized by the making of inappropriate physical advances or sexual remarks that are unwelcome to an individual or a group of people. It can occur in a place of work, professional or social setting. It is classified as a form of gender discrimination and can include but is not limited to:
- Unwanted Touching
- Unwelcome verbal or written sexual comments
- Requests for sexual acts or sexual favors
- Submission to sexual advances that are made a condition of employment (Quid Pro Quo Sexual Harassment)
- Unwanted gifts or items of a sexual or romantic nature
- Sexual innuendos or jokes
- Threatening verbal or physical behavior in demand for sexual favors
- Forced physical sexual acts (e.g., rape)
Sexual Harassment in the workplace and Related Laws
It is illegal to harass an employee or applicant because of that person’s sex. Although incidents of a non-serious nature, simple teasing, and isolated occurrences are not unlawful, sexual harassment in the workplace is illegal when it interferes with an employee’s, supervisor’s, or client’s ability to work. It is also unlawful when acts of sexual harassment in the workplace result in adverse employment decisions (firing or demoting employees) or create an unsafe or offensive hostile work environment. Both victim and the harasser can be of any sex or gender and the victim and harasser can be of the same sex.
Does My Abuser Need to Be Convicted for My Case to Succeed?
While a civil case can be filed and even won without a criminal conviction or even a criminal charge brought against the defendant, a conviction in a criminal case can be powerful evidence in the plaintiff’s favor in a civil suit. There is no jail time on the table for a defendant in a civil trial.
I Was Abused by a Member of the Clergy. Who Is Liable?
The potentially liable parties in sex abuse cases include clergy, as well as a school or other institution’s staff members. Some of the possible issues your attorney will be looking for in your case when determining liable parties include:
- Was a full background check performed on the abuser before they were hired? Was there anything in the defendant’s past employment history that indicated that they might sexually abuse children?
- Did the victim tell anyone else associated with the church, school, or institution that abuse had taken place? Did anyone else who knew about the abuse report it to the church, school, or institution? Individuals who are entrusted with caring for children have an obligation to report allegations of abuse to authorities.
- Did the organization have a policy in place to properly deal with allegations of sexual abuse, and was that policy followed?
- Was an investigation of abuse allegations performed by officials at the church, school, or institution?
- Was there any attempt made, by anyone, to conceal evidence, reports, or allegations of the abuse from school officials, social services, or law enforcement?
- Was there any attempt on the part of anyone affiliated with the church, school, or institution to intimidate the victim or coerce them into not speaking about or reporting the abuse?
If you or someone you know has witnessed or experienced sexual harassment in the workplace, we may be able to help. Knowing your rights is crucial and we are here to guide you through every step of the way. Additionally, national hotlines are available to help comfort victims, survivors, and support networks with local resources.
Your claims may be time sensitive and we encourage you to complete our free case evaluation request to increase the chance of meeting deadlines for filing your claim. Sexual Abuse Lawyers at McKay Law are passionate about employment law and are true advocates of employees whose rights have been violated.
What if the Abuse Occurred Years Ago?
Many states are rethinking their statutes of limitations in sexual abuse cases so that victims can recover compensation for the damages they incurred. This is taking place due to the sheer number of survivors who continue to suffer from the lasting effects of sex abuse, even into adulthood. Your personal injury attorney can discuss your legal options with you.
McKay Law Carefully Listen to Your Story & Keep Your Information Confidential.
We are eager to boldly fight and protect anyone who may be the victim of Sexual Harassment in the workplace.
If you or a loved one suffered through sexual abuse, you deserve justice, support, and a chance at moving on with your life. Free Consultation with McKay Law. Our legal team understands what sexual abuse or assault can do to someone, and we are committed to holding abusers and the institutions that protect them accountable for their actions.
We proudly serve clients in East Texas including Greenville TX, Paris TX, Mount Pleasant, Killeen, Bonham, Lindale, Quitman, and New Boston.