Sexual Harassment in the Workplace

Sexual harassment is a serious concern in the workplace, and more and more people in the public eye–ranging from Al Franken to Harvey Weinstein to Bill O’Reilly–have recently been accused of or settled workplace sexual harassment claims.

But sexual harassment doesn’t just happen amongst the rich and famous; sexual harassment can occur in any workplace type, and affect all gender identities, sexual orientations, and ages. It does not only exclusively involve public figures such as actors & actresses, entertainment executives, on-air personalities and/or politicians.

Here’s what you need to know:


What Is Sexual Harassment?

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) defines sexual harassment as any unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, or any other physical or verbal harassment of a sexual nature. This could include inappropriate touching or comments about a person’s appearance, using sex as a bargaining chip, and sexual teasing and jokes.

Each situation is different but the bottom line is: if you are made to feel uncomfortable where verbally or physically, it could be a form of sexual harassment however minor it may seem. Most businesses have a Human Resources department and you should consider reporting the inappropriate behavior.

If you are not comfortable with speaking with an HR representative or feel that the HR department will only be on the company’s side, you should think about speaking with an attorney. You can explain what happened and s/he will be able to advise you further.

Remember, it is illegal to be retaliated against for reporting a sexual harassment claim. This means that your employer cannot take action against you, including firing you, for having brought this to their attention.

Sexual harassment is a type of discrimination that violates the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and is considered a form of sex discrimination in the workplace. Since there are both federal and state harassment and discrimination laws in place, it is important to reference the laws where you live.


Claims for Sexual Harassment

In the event that sexual harassment in the workplace occurs, the victim may file a claim with the EEOC within 180 days of its occurrence. The offending party may be terminated, or some sort of remediation may be necessary for the victim of harassment. In some cases, it may be appropriate for the victim to bring forth a civil action against the offending party for damages. Once again, you cannot be retaliated against for filing a claim.


Our Lawyers Can Help You

If you have been sexually harassed in the workplace, you have legal rights. To learn more about these rights and what steps to take next, contact our experienced workplace sexual harassment attorneys at the law offices of Napoli Shkolnik PLLC. Our free consultation is confidential and you are under no obligation to pursue a case. Our legal team understands that this will be a very difficult time for you and we will stand by you and fight for the justice you deserve.

There are no upfront fees and we only collect money if we win your case.