Sexual harassment includes unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical harassment of a sexual nature, including text messages and emails. The harasser can be supervisor, a co-worker, or in some instances, someone who is not an employee. Often, the harasser is in a position of power or authority over the victim. Over 30% of women in America report being sexually harassed in the workplace. You are not alone. We can help. If you have been subjected to improper sexual conduct at work, contact the sexual harassment attorneys at Abney & McCarty, PLLC.
There are generally two types of sexual harassment: quid pro quo and hostile environment. “Quid pro quo” sexual harassment happens when submitting to unwelcome sexual conduct is made the basis for employment decisions – such as requiring sexual favors in order to grant a promotion. Similarly, when rejection of sexual advances forms the basis for a decision to fire, demote, or refuse to promote an employee, quid pro quo sexual harassment has occurred. This type of harassment results in an economic loss to the victim. A pattern of favoritism to one gender based on the granting of sexual favors can create quid pro quo harassment of members of either gender.
The more common form of sexual harassment is the second category, called “hostile work environment” harassment. A hostile work environment exists where unwelcome verbal or physical conduct unreasonably interferes with the victim’s ability to do his or her job, or creates an offensive, intimidating, or hostile working environment. Even general, non-sexual comments – such as comments about one gender – can create a hostile work environment where the comments are frequent or severe. Minor isolated incidents or harmless lighthearted teasing do not amount to a hostile work environment. If you are uncertain, it can be helpful to consult with an attorney to get an idea of whether the conduct at issue is so offensive as to constitute a hostile work environment.
Sexual harassment can often lead to retaliation after a person rejects the sexual advances of the harasser, or reports the harassment to his or her employer. Acts of retaliation can include demotions, cuts in pay or benefits, or even termination. However, it’s not just wrong to fire someone for reporting sexual harassment, it is illegal. Speak up – refuse to live in fear. Call the at attorneys at Abney & McCarty, PLLC.
At Abney & McCarty, PLLC we understand the difficulties of pursuing a sexual harassment claim, but we also know that no one should have to tolerate unwelcome sexual advances in the workplace. If you’ve been sexually harassed, you are not the one who should be afraid — Your harasser should be. We are aggressive advocates for our clients, and have substantial experience in harassment and discrimination claims.
If you have been the victim of sexual harassment, contact the attorneys at Abney & McCarty, PLLC online or call (502) 459-4108 to schedule a free consultation.