Cincinnati Employment Lawyer Protecting Victims Of Sexual Harassment
Sexual harassment in the workplace creates a dilemma for victims: you like your job, but you no longer feel safe there. At the same time, walking out and trying to find another place to work is risky. And, after all, why should you be the one who has to leave? At Mezibov Butler, our attorneys understand how difficult it is to experience sexual harassment. It takes a heavy toll emotionally, mentally and professionally. That’s why we’re committed to helping Ohio workers stand up against their harassers and fight to protect the careers they’ve worked hard to build.
What Is Workplace Sexual Harassment?
Sexual harassment is a form of gender discrimination that is prohibited by both state and federal law. Workplace sexual harassment could include:
- Unwelcome touching, exposure or other sexual advances
- Jokes, comments or teasing related to sex or gender
- Physical or digital communications that are of a sexual nature
- Requests for sexual favors
Any sexual, verbal or physical conduct that unreasonably affects an individual’s employment or creates a hostile work environment could constitute harassment.
Hostile Work Environment And Quid Pro Quo
Title VII is a federal anti-discrimination statute that prohibits employers from taking adverse employment actions against employees on the basis of their race, color, religion, sex or national origin. The U.S. Supreme Court has held that sexual harassment is a form of sex discrimination and is prohibited by Title VII.
The U.S. Supreme Court has divided sexual harassment claims into two distinct categories: quid pro quo and hostile work environment. A plaintiff may assert a quid pro quo claim if his or her hiring, promotion, continued employment or other employment status is conditioned on sexual demands (including sex, dating, touching or other physical demands). Quid pro quo may also include claims based on retaliation when an employee or applicant refuses to consent to sexual demands.
A plaintiff may assert a hostile work environment claim if “unwelcome sexual conduct unreasonably interferes with his or her job performance or creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive working environment,” according to guidelines from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
What To Do After Experiencing Sexual Harassment At Work
If someone at work is sexually harassing you, the first thing to do is to tell them to stop. Simply calling out the behavior could cause it to cease. Of course, we recognize that you may not feel comfortable confronting your harasser or that doing so may not stop it. If this is the case, refer to your company’s guidelines for reporting sexual harassment.
When you report sexual harassment, keep a copy of the report for your records. Also, document your company’s response to the report and the outcome. If reporting it doesn’t end it, it still creates a paper trail that will be helpful if you decide to take legal action. You should also retain any other evidence you may have of the harassment.
If none of your attempts to stop the harassment are successful, legal action could be an option. To file a lawsuit against your employer for sexual harassment, you must file a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) within 180 days of the last time you were harassed.
Talk To A Workplace Sexual Harassment Lawyer Today
No one has the right to make you do things you don’t want to or make your working conditions intolerable for refusing. The workplace should be a safe place. Whether you’re dealing with a hostile environment or have been offered job-related benefits in exchange for sexual favors, contact us. Our attorneys are here to help you seek justice. We have successfully represented both male and female clients in holding their harassers accountable and regaining a safe work environment.