It is important for employers and employees alike to be knowledgeable about what makes the definition of sexual harassment in the workplace. An employer could be held responsible if an employee reported concerns about sexual harassment and these were never appropriately addressed by the employer.
Furthermore, an employee should know what has met the grounds for sexual harassment so as to be able to take appropriate steps to tell the employer or even file a lawsuit. Sexual harassment is an unlawful discrimination type that was established by Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. This applies to employers who have at least 15 employees. The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission define sexual harassment as any of the following behaviors:
- Offers of employment benefits in exchange for sexual favors.
- Demands or threats to give in to sexual requests as a means of keeping someone’s job.
- Inflammatory language or lascivious behavior.
- Inappropriate love letters.
- Harassing phone calls.
- Demands for sexual favors.
- Undesired visual conduct such as pictures, letters, emails, or drawings.
- Inappropriate physical contact.
Sexual harassment laws protect employees from being subjected to these kinds of devastating behaviors in the workplace. An employee who has already been subject to sexual harassment and has had to deal with the fall out as a result of an employer failing to address the behavior directly or taking the employee’s concern seriously could be named responsible in a lawsuit.
This makes it extremely difficult for the employer to be able to defend themselves in court because of the many ways that sexual harassment can affect an employee’s life. It is important to get assistance from an attorney who has been practicing in this field if you believe you have already been subjected to negative behavior in the workplace that could be interpreted by a court of law as sexual harassment.
No one should have to suffer through sexual harassment, but if it’s already happened in your situation, you need a lawyer who knows the stakes. Gathering evidence and presenting a case is important.