Sexual harassment is an assault on a person’s dignity and worth. It can be emotionally scarring and even physically debilitating. Despite efforts to eliminate sexual harassment from the workplace, offending behavior continues. If you are being sexually harassed at your job, it's important to know that you have recourse through the law.
Sexual harassment is recognized as a form of discrimination prohibited under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. It exists when unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature are linked to employment or career advancement, or simply make one’s job intolerable.
- Quid pro quo — In this type of sexual harassment, a supervisor requests sexual favors from an employee in return for that employee's continued employment or career advancement. This quid pro quo (this for that) exchange can be explicitly stated or merely implied by the overall circumstances.
- Hostile work environment — This type of sexual harassment involves unwanted sexual conduct that interferes with an individual's work performance or creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive working environment. When an employee's ability to do her job is compromised by the sexual conduct she must see, hear or suffer, she may have a case for sexual harassment.
- The unwelcome question — The sticking point for all sexual harassment claims is that the conduct must be unwelcome. Office flirtations and romances, even between a worker and a supervisor, are not harassment when they are fully consensual. Therefore, it is important for a victim to take reasonable steps to establish his or her objection to the behavior.
- Same-sex sexual harassment — Sexual harassment can involve members of the opposite sex or same sex. The law makes no distinction based on gender. When you've been subjected to sexual harassment at work, we will seek damages on your behalf, which may include these:
- Back pay — We will press for wages, salary, and fringe benefits that you would have received from the point at which you were denied employment or promotion up to the date of the conclusion of your case.
- Compensatory damages — My firm will work to compensate you for the emotional distress, pain and suffering, and mental anguish the illegal discrimination has caused you.
- Attorney's fees – These fees may be compensable at the court’s discretion.
- Punitive damages — When your employer's behavior was intentional, with malice or reckless indifference toward you, we will seek punitive damages.
- Front pay — We will also seek compensation for anticipated future losses in cases where reinstatement is not practical.
Injunctive relief, including reinstating a fired employee or ordering the employer to change policies and practices that allowed the harassment to occur, is also available to sexual harassment plaintiffs. I am committed to obtaining the relief and remedies you deserve.