Sexual Harassment is a crime that is taken very seriously by the judicial system. Whether it be verbal or physical sexual harassment, being a victim of any harassment can be a very unpleasant experience for anyone. Where laws surrounding sexual harassment exist, they generally do not prohibit simple teasing, offhand comments, or minor isolated incidents. Sexual harassment is not limited to comments or advances. It can also be committed through offensive language and workplace graffiti. Viewing pornography, suggestive screensavers, and other seemingly minor details can be incredibly offensive to other employees. Speak with a trusted friend first if you feel you are being treated unfairly. Get their opinion and gather your thoughts. The wise words of an acquaintance can help you figure out which direction you should go in.
The Civil Rights Act of 1964 officially made harassment in the workplace illegal. Over the years, the Equal Opportunity Employment Commission (EEOC) has slowly built a large body of regulations aimed at preventing sexual harassment at work. However, despite the ongoing efforts by employers to educate and inform employees of the harmful effects and risks of unlawful harassment, it is unfortunately still extremely prevalent in today’s workplace.
Sexual Harassment in the Workplace
It is unavoidable that people inside the same workplace will interact and socialize with one another. These interactions can open the doors for a harmonious relationship between all the people inside the workplace. This is a good thing for all employees because it will lessen the pressure they feel from their work. However, this constant interaction can also cause some people to encounter problems especially when someone in the workplace creates a hostile environment fueled by sexual abuse. This illegal act under employment law is called and known as sexual harassment.
The core definition of sexual harassment is any behavior that can be deemed as humiliating, intimidating, and above all, unwanted. A sexual harassment claim does not have to be made by the victim, it can also be made by other employees who feel distracted or angered by this behavior. In the workplace, harassment may be considered illegal when it is frequent or so severe that it creates a hostile or offensive work environment or when it results in an adverse employment decision (such as the offender being fired or demoted, or when the victim decides to quit the job). The law that covers and governs sexual harassment in the workplace continuously protects employees from being sexually harassed by the people they respect and trust. In addition, through this law, employees are given the right to fight for their dignity in the event that this unfair action is done to them. Unfortunately, many victims don’t know how to handle this issue. They are fearful of filing a complaint as they think they may lose their job. Fortunately, most companies deal with this issue effectively and efficiently.
There are other forms of harassment. If a female employee chooses to wear provocative clothing to work, it may cause a male employee to be distracted. This distraction may cost him a promotion or even a reprimand for a sluggish performance. Many companies are not only initiating a workplace dress code, some are even initiating measurement requirements for skirts and blouses. You should speak with your HR department before you consult an attorney. If your complaint is not handled to your satisfaction, consult an attorney.
Contact an Attorney
If you or a loved one feels like they have been the victim of sexual harassment and are seeking legal representation or legal counsel, please contact the Curry Law Group. Our firm services the entire Tampa Bay Area and would like the chance to represent you today. Please fill out the form on this page or contact our office today.