If you have been following the news this election season, you likely realize what a serious issue sexual harassment in and outside of the workplace has become in America. For example, nearly a dozen women have come forward with allegations that Donald Trump has sexually harassed and assaulted them. What Trump has labeled “locker room talk” has some of our leaders (like Michelle Obama) rightfully pointing out what has become a serious issue in this society; a society that has now elected a candidate who brags about sexually harassing women as our next President.
Sexual harassment and assault is unacceptable anywhere, anytime, in any form. It is a form of sexual discrimination that violates the legal rights of whomever is targeted, and it must be addressed. Unfortunately, it is prevalent. However, more and more women are increasingly emboldened to discuss the harassment that they have experienced and to do something about it.
Know Your Rights
Sexual harassment does not just present itself in the form of inappropriate remarks. It is also in the decision to, for example, deny an intern or staffer particular work or assignments when they refuse to go out for drinks with his or her supervisor.
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits discrimination based on sex, origin, religion, race, or color. It applies to employers with 15 or more employees, including government agencies. However, there are also state laws in place that prohibit sexual harassment and discrimination.
Most cases of sexual harassment either show up as a “quid pro quo”whereby a positive employment decision is made based on subjecting oneself to sexual harassment, or in the form of a hostile work environment, whereby the environment itself has become intimidating, hostile, or offensive. It is also important to note that sex ual harassment does not just have to come from supervisors; it can come from anyone; inappropriate behavior is still inappropriate even if it comes from a co-worker or anyone else.
Title VII also forbids employers from retaliating against you for filing a sexual harassment charge or speaking out against harassment. If you choose to participate in an investigation or hearing on behalf of someone else in the workplace, you are protected from retaliation.
According to experts, employees in large private companies and federal agencies tend to have stronger protections against sexual harassment than, say, those who work in legislatures and other fields.
Sexual Harassment Attorneys Who Can Help
If you or someone you know has experienced sexual harassment in the workplace or elsewhere, it is vital that you stand up and fight it. With over 20 years of experience and focus on sexual harassment cases, our team of New York attorneys can help you work towards a successful resolution of your case and the justice you are seeking. We fight passionately and aggressively for our clients, with a success rate of over 90%. Contact us today for your free consultation and we will get started helping you.