Employment Discrimination Lawyer
Recent media reports confirm that this type of harassment has infected every type of industry and affected thousands of women and men. Fortunately, discrimination attorneys aggressively advocate for victims of workplace sexual harassment, and understand how devastating its effects can be on victims.
Federal Definition of Workplace Sexual Harassment
According to the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), sexual harassment is defined as any unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, or other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature when:
- The perpetrator lets the victim know, either implicitly or explicitly, that submitting to the conduct is a condition of the victim’s employment;
- The perpetrator lets the victim know, either implicitly or explicitly, that Submitting or rejecting of the conduct by an victim is used as the basis for decisions affecting the employment of the victim; or
- The effect of the purpose of the perpetrator’s conduct is to either substantially interfere with the victim’s work performance or to create a hostile, offensive, or intimidating work environment.
Statistics reveal that 40 to 60 percent of women in the workforce have experienced at least one incident of sexual harassment; however, it is believed the number is much higher since many victims never report the harassment.
There are several different types of harassment that fall under this category:
- Seductive behavior – The abuser makes inappropriate and unwanted sexual advances. The victim is barraged with date requests, sexual invitations, phone calls, text messages, emails and gifts.
- Sexual Bribery – The abuser promises the victim a reward in return for sex. They may be blatant in their offer or they may attempt to come across subtly.
- Sexual Coercion – The abuser threatens retribution, such as withholding promotions or raises, poor job evaluation, or job termination, unless the victim consents to sexual activity.
- Sexual Imposition – Forceful touching, feeling, grabbing or sexual assault.
Another form of behavior that many people do not realize falls under sexual harassment is called gender harassment. Sexist comments or comments that are degrading to one gender or another are types of sexual harassment. This can take place in the form of obscene and inappropriate jokes, insults or graffiti.
There is no “typical” victim of sexual harassment. How a person dresses or acts has nothing to do with being targeted. Different research that has been done has found that victims of sexual harassment are varied – there is no specific body type, age or dress style that factors into a person becoming a victim.
Have You Been a Victim?
If you’ve been a victim of sexual harassment at your workplace, contact an experienced workplace discrimination attorney to find out what legal action you may be able to take against your employer. Reach out to an attorney today to schedule a free consultation.