The U.S. Equal Opportunity Employment Commission (EEOC), defines sexual
harassment in the workplace as any unwelcome sexual advances or conduct
that unreasonably interferes with a person’s ability to perform
their job. Intimidating, hostile, or offensive work environments are also
covered under the EEOC’s definition of sexual harassment. Under
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, sexual harassment is also considered
a form of sex discrimination. Offensive jokes that are sexual in nature
or inappropriate physical contact with another person are just two examples
of what can be considered sexual harassment in the workplace.
Types of Sexual Harassment
Title VII recognizes two types of sexual harassment: quid pro quo and hostile
work environment. If a boss uses their authority to demand their subordinates
to tolerate sexual harassment as a condition of getting or keeping their
job or job benefits, it is a type of quid pro quo harassment. If this
behavior is consistently encountered in the workplace, it can qualify
as a hostile work environment.
Courts will use the following things to judge if a hostile work environment
claim has merit:
- Was the offensive conduct verbal, physical, or both?
- What was the frequency of the offensive conduct?
- Was the conduct hostile or patently offensive?
- Was the suspected harasser a co-worker or supervisor?
- Did other co-workers partake in the harassment?
- Was the harassment aimed at more than one person or were you singled out?
To be successful in a sexual harassment case, you will need to prove the
- You believe the workplace conduct was hostile, abusive, or offensive.
- A reasonable person in your position would also believe that the conduct
of your workplace is hostile, abusive, or offensive.
How to Stop Sexual Harassment
If you experience sexual harassment, you should first try to put a stop
to the behavior yourself. If your attempt to resolve the issue does not
work, seek out an authority figure that you can take your complaint to.
When you make your complaint, be sure to document it and any other instance
of sexual harassment that you might continue to experience.
If the internal procedures you turn to don’t put a stop to the sexual
harassment, you will need to file a claim with the federal Equal Employment
Opportunity Commission (EEOC) or your state's human rights or civil
rights enforcement agency. The agency you submit your complaint to will
investigate and issue a "right to sue" letter if your claim
is deemed to be valid.
Going through a sexual harassment case can be a very difficult and traumatizing
experience. That is why you want to have a skilled attorney by your side
who can protect your interests. Our lawyers are familiar with these types
of cases and we will help you get through this. Let us put our skills
and resources to work on your case today.
Contact our Dallas sexual harassment attorney
to schedule your free consultation.