Sexually Harassed At Work – Know Your Rights
Quick Guide on Sexual Harassment At Work
At Hogue & Belong Law, we understand the devastating impact that being sexually harassed at work can have on your life. We are a law firm that focuses on sexual harassment cases. We are here to help and support you with legal advice during this difficult time.
If you’ve been sexually harassed at work, it’s crucial to know your rights and the steps you should take to seek justice.
What is Sexual Harassment?
Sexual harassment is in direct violation of federal law Title VII of the Civil Rights Law of 1964. It can include unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical harassment of a sexual nature. Anyone can be harassed or be the harasser, regardless of their gender identity or sexual orientation.
What Is Workplace Sexual Harassment?
Workplace sexual harassment is a form of misconduct that involves unwanted sexual advances, explicit or implicit requests for sexual favors, and any other type of inappropriate sexual behavior at work or within a professional setting. These behaviors become classified as harassment when they create a hostile or offensive working environment, or when they become a condition of continued employment.
Sexual harassment in the workplace can take several forms:
- Quid pro quo sexual harassment: This occurs when employment decisions (like promotions, raises, or continued employment) depend on the submission to sexual advances.
- Hostile work environment: This happens when unwelcome and pervasive sexual behavior interferes with an employee’s job performance or creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive work environment.
Remember, anyone can be the victim of workplace sexual harassment, regardless of their gender or their harasser’s gender. If you have experienced sexual harassment at work, do not hesitate to reach out to us at Hogue & Belong Law. No one should have to endure such behavior. We are here to help.
What To Do if You Have Been Sexually Harassed at Work
Enduring any type of harassment in the workplace is distressing. Nonetheless, be aware that you possess rights, safeguards, and alternatives. Here’s your course of action:
Communicate: If it’s safe for you, directly address the harasser and tell them to stop their inappropriate, intimidating, hostile, or abusive behavior. Make it clear that their conduct is unwanted.
Record: Document every incident of harassment in detail. Include the date, time, who was involved, location, witnesses (if any), and what happened. Remember to keep a copy of this record outside your workplace.
Report Internally: Refer to your employer’s policy on harassment and follow the procedures to report an incident. If no policy exists, report the harassment to a trusted supervisor or an HR specialist. If there’s no action taken, escalate it to someone higher in your organization. Keep all communication records and document all conversations. Union members should report harassment to their representatives as well.
Report Externally: Reach out to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) or your local EEOC field office to understand your rights and resources, or to file a complaint. You can file a complaint online or in person within 180 days of the harassment. You may also file a complaint with California’s DFEH, which allows you to do so within three years of a violation. After filing, these government agencies will notify your employer and decide on the next steps, which could include mediation or an investigation. You can track your claim status via the EEOC Public Portal.
Contact a Lawyer: If you’re considering legal representation, we can help. Hogue + Belong specializes in helping victims of workplace sexual harassment. With over 25 years of experience in the field, hundreds of cases won, and millions of dollars awarded to their victims, we are the legal help you want on your side. Reach out today for a free consultation.
Is My Job Safe if I Report Sexual Harassment?
Retaliation after a sexual harassment claim at work means that your boss or company punishes you because you reported sexual harassment or helped with an investigation. This punishment could include firing you, giving you a lower salary, changing your job or shifts in a negative way, or treating you poorly. It’s against the law for them to do this.
You have the right to report harassment and not be punished for it, even if the harassment claim is unsubstantiated. If you think you’re being punished for reporting harassment, you should keep a record of what’s happening, talk to a lawyer, and think about making a retaliation complaint with the EEOC (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission).
What Must My Employer Do?
Your employer is legally obligated to provide a safe and respectful work environment, free from any form of sexual harassment. Specific responsibilities of an employer include:
- Establishing a Policy: A clear-cut, written policy against sexual harassment that explicitly states that such behavior will not be tolerated should be in place.
- Training: Employers must provide regular training and awareness sessions on sexual harassment for all employees, emphasizing the importance of respect and dignity in the workplace.
- Reporting Mechanisms: A confidential and responsive reporting mechanism should be established and communicated to all employees. This empowers victims or witnesses of sexual harassment to report incidents without fear of retaliation.
- Prompt Action: Upon receiving a harassment claim, employers must conduct a thorough investigation and take appropriate action against the perpetrator, if the complaint is substantiated.
- Preventing Retaliation: Employers are obligated to ensure that those making the complaints, as well as witnesses, are not subjected to any form of retaliation for reporting the incident or participating in the investigation.
If your employer fails to fulfill these responsibilities and you’ve been sexually harassed at work, you have the right to take legal action. Contact Hogue + Belong Law today for expert legal advice and representation.
Who May Be Liable for Workplace Sexual Harassment?
When you’ve been sexually harassed at work, it’s crucial to identify all parties who may be held liable for the distress you’re experiencing. These can include:
- The Harasser: The individual who carried out the act of sexual harassment is primarily responsible. This person could be a coworker, supervisor, manager, or even an external contact like a client or vendor.
- Your Employer: If your employer knew or should have known about the harassment and failed to take action, they could be liable.
- Supervisors or Managers: In some cases, supervisors or managers who were aware of the harassment but did not address the issue properly can be held individually liable.
- The Organization: In certain situations, the company or organization can be held responsible, particularly if a hostile work environment has been allowed to continue.
How We Can Help
At Hogue & Belong, we have experience navigating the complex legal landscape surrounding workplace sexual harassment and sexual assault. Our services include:
- Case Evaluation: We’ll review your case and provide an honest assessment of your legal options.
- Representation: If you decide to sue, we will represent you every step of the way, fighting for your rights and seeking justice on your behalf.
- Support: We’re here to provide emotional support and guidance throughout the process.
Looking for More Information on Sexual Harassment?
The complexities of sexual harassment cases often require a deep understanding of the subject. For detailed info on sexual harassment laws, rights, and handling such situations, visit our page: Everything Regarding Sexual Harassment.
This page provides extensive information about sexual harassment, legal insights, and practical advice from our seasoned attorneys. We explore sexual harassment law and discuss different aspects to help you understand your situation and make informed choices.
Remember, knowledge is power. The more informed you are about sexual harassment, the better prepared you will be to navigate these challenging circumstances.
At Hogue & Belong Law, we are always ready to provide the professional legal assistance you need. We actively oppose sexual harassment and actively support victims in seeking justice. Reach out to us today for a free consultation.
Who We Are
Workplace Sexual Harassment Lawyers
Looking for a sexual harassment attorney in California? Hogue + Belong can help.
Our team of dedicated legal professionals, boasting a combined experience of over 25 years, is committed to providing top-tier representation for victims of workplace sexual harassment.
Fighting sexual harassment at work is our #1 specialty, and the hundreds of cases we have won over the decades are a testament to our success. Let us win for you.