Your best bet is to avoid sexual harassment in the workplace, but that is not always an option. In times like these, a sexual harassment lawyer is often needed. Before you give your lawyer a call, you’ll need to research a bit more about sexual harassment than what the media tells you to ensure you have a case.
What Is Sexual Harassment?
Sexual harassment was one of the many forms of discrimination in the workplace made illegal by Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. According to the law, sexual harassment in the workplace occurs when any employee makes unwanted sexual advances toward any other employee. Things like unwanted verbal conduct of a sexual nature, requests for sexual favors and or course, unwanted physical conduct of a sexual nature are all considered sexual harassment.
This type of sexual harassment becomes illegal when the tormenting begins to interfere with performance in the workplace or when a hostile work environment was created. If your refusal could tarnish the terms and conditions of your employment – then this is considered harassment as well.
Suffice to say, sexual harassment law can be tricky. If you’re confident you may have a case, you should reach out to a sexual harassment lawyer.
The Two Types of Sexual Harassment
Just as well, there are a couple of different types of sexual harassment. There is quid pro quo sexual harassment and hostile environment sexual harassment.
Quid pro quo sexual harassment occurs when an employee is forced to submit to any sexual demands as a part of employment. Often, the harasser issues an implied threat that if you do not engage in the lewd behavior of his or her desire, you will lose your job or suffer a bad performance rating.
On the other hand, hostile environment sexual harassment occurs when the harassment of an employee, based on his or her gender, creates a hostile environment to work in for the employee. Physical contact or verbal attacks can both be part of this form of harassment.
Who Is Protected From Sexual Harassment?
Pretty much everyone is protected from sexual harassment in the workplace. Both male and female employees are fully covered against any acts of workplace sexual harassment under federal law and state law. Any company with over 15 employees is subjected to Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Smaller companies are usually subjected to similar laws against harassment at the state level.
One detail of note – Federal laws protect against opposite sex and same sex harassment, but there are some states that do not protect employees of smaller companies from same sex harassment.
Hostile Work Environments
There have been many failed cases of hostile work environments, but courts do hold companies liable for a number of reasons. For example:
- If a supervisor actually knew about the harassment taking place, the victim files a formal complaint or the harassment is simply widely accepted – you may have a case.
- If the authority figures in the company could have learned about the harassment because it was blatant, employee concerns were ignored or manager ignored behavior indicative of a problem – you may have a case.
- If the company failed to take action to properly address and correct the harassment (as the company did not prompt action to ensure the harassment is stopped and occurs no longer) – you may have a case.
What Are The Hostile Work Environment Legal Requirements Needed To Take Legal Actions?
Before you call an employee harassment lawyer, you’ll need to make sure these elements are present in your case. Hostile work environments cannot be proven without them. The elements are:
- The action must be discriminatory in nature and against a certain classification, such as age, disability, race, religion, gender, etc.
- The behavior must be consistently occurring over a long period of time. An off-the-cuff remark a time or two that you found annoying does not constitute as a hostile work environment.
- Not only must the behavior be consistently taking place, but also the hostility must be severe. This behavior must negatively impact the employee’s work as well.
Harassment Lawyer In Kansas City
If you’re in need of a sexual/employee harassment lawyer in Kansas City, we hope you’ll contact us. Here at Paulus Law Firm, we strive to be the best harassment lawyers in Kansas City.