Sexual harassment is typically a sensitive topic, particularly in reference to the workplace, and the role it plays in employee discrimination. Sexual harassment is a form of sex discrimination under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits employers, generally those with 15 or more employees, from discriminating against employees on the basis of sex. For those with fewer than 15 employees, state law governs, though most states have enacted laws covering sexual harassment.
In addition to providing men and women with equal pay and opportunities, women and men have the right to secure their jobs without the unwanted romantic or sexual demands, communications or behaviors. It is illegal for employers to demand sexual conduct as a condition or term of employment. Sexual harassment can consist of request for sexual favors, unwanted sexual advances, or any other conduct or a sexual nature that affects an individuals employment.
If sexual harassment can be proven, employers may be liable for compensatory and punitive damages, depending on who committed the harassment and the actions of the company to correct it. If the harassment is committed by a coworker, the employer is liable if they had knowledge of the harassment and did not take immediate corrective action. Victims in sexual harassment cases must show that they believed the conduct was offensive and that any reasonable person in their shoes would have believed the conduct was offensive.
Many employers have procedures for reporting sexual discrimination, though these cases may be difficult to address with co-workers. Legal action may be necessary if an employer takes a discriminatory position against an employee based on sex. Call Darfoor Law Firm at 1-833-DARFOOR to speak with an experienced attorney that can help protect your rights and pursue your case if you have been a victim of sexual harassment.