Sexual harassment has been in the news a great deal these days, and for good reason. After all, no one deserves to face unwanted sexual attention and harassment when trying to do their job. Unfortunately, sexual harassment remains a significant issue for many employees throughout the state of Arizona.
Whether you’re being harassed by a coworker or supervisor, the situation can affect your ability to feel safe at work and do your job effectively. While the first step in sexual harassment cases is to file an official complaint with your company’s human resources department, this action doesn’t always solve the problem or put a stop to the troubling behavior. For this reason, sexual harassment victims should consider contacting an employment law firm to safeguard their rights.
So, what exactly constitutes sexual harassment? Referring to a wide ranges of actions, comments, and behaviors, sexual harassment includes but is not limited to the following:
It’s important to note that harassment does not have to come from supervisors or company owners. In fact, employees can also sue for sexual harassment by colleagues, clients, and vendors they encounter in the course of doing their job. Though a majority of cases are filed by women, sexual harassment laws apply to people of all genders and sexual orientations.
Sexual harassment victims often make the mistake of thinking their situation isn’t serious enough to merit legal action. However, employees should be aware that even a single inappropriate act can constitute harassment. Additionally, a series of smaller incidents that occur over time may be enough to warrant a complaint.
Just because an act is sexual in nature doesn’t mean it counts as harassment, though. If an employee makes a sexual reference or casually teases a fellow worker, the court will likely rule that this does not constitute harassment. In general, actions must be either serious or repeated to justify a harassment case. Additionally, you must be able to prove that your co-worker’s actions caused you significant distress. If you’re wondering if your circumstances merit a sexual harassment lawsuit, don’t hesitate to speak to an attorney.
Employees can file a sexual harassment complaint without legal counsel. However, working with an employment law attorney is the best way to protect your rights. Along with assessing your likelihood of success, a knowledgeable attorney can help you gather evidence and build an effective case. Here are some of the steps your employment lawyer may advise you to take when suing an employer for sexual harassment:
In addition to detailing the harassment itself, you should maintain records of all your conversations with your employer. Keep copies of letters, emails, and texts and make notes about any phone calls you made or received.
Resolving a sexual harassment case can take time. If the harassment continues, your lawyer can advise you about reporting future incidents to your employer.
Companies sometimes retaliate against workers who have filed a sexual harassment lawsuit. A skilled attorney can advise you on observing and documenting employer behavior in the wake of filing a complaint.
Proving sexual harassment can be challenging, especially in cases where the crime wasn’t witnessed. Your attorney will assist you in gathering evidence, including testimony from your fellow employees. Other forms of evidence used to win a sexual harassment case include communications from the harasser, employee handbooks or written harassment policies, and responses from the company. The company’s lack of response to sexual harassment complaints may also be viewed as evidence of guilt.
Employees can collect damages in the event that they are found to be victims of sexual harassment. Depending on the specifics of the case, workers may receive money in the form of back pay, emotional and punitive damages, and attorney fees.
It’s no secret that sexual harassment can have a negative impact on workers’ lives. Along with causing anger, shame, and stress, this behavior can make it hard for employees to do their jobs and achieve their professional goals. If you’re facing sexual harassment or assault in the workplace, don’t hesitate to contact the team at Phoenix Employment Law. Our trusted experts are ready and waiting to vigorously represent your interests. For more information on how we can help, call today or contact our employment experts online.