Sexual harassment is one of the most commonly-litigated types of workplace harassment. Sexual harassment falls into two general classifications: quid pro quo harassment and creation of a hostile work environment.
QUID PRO QUO SEXUAL HARASSMENT
Quid pro quo sexual harassment involves a trade-off of sexual favors, a romantic relationship, or cooperation in some other type of sexually-based scenario. The simplest form of quid pro quo sexual harassment would involve a superior who offered a promotion or other favorable treatment to an employee in return for sexual favors, or who penalized an employee who rejected his advances.
HOSTILE WORK ENVIRONMENT CLAIMS
Hostile work environment claims are often less clear-cut and may arise in the context of sexual harassment or in relation to any other protected class. For example, a hostile work environment claim might arise out of:
- Repeated, unwanted touching
- Ongoing negative comments or insults relating to race, sex, or another protected characteristic
- An environment characterized by vulgar language, sexually explicit discussion, or display of explicit material
To rise to the level of actionable harassment, a hostile work environment must be pervasive. Single or occasional incidents will generally not be sufficient to support a claim.
If You’re a Victim of Harassment, Get Help Now
Too often, people who are subjected to harassment in the workplace feel helpless. The environment might be so destructive that it induces anxiety, makes you physically ill, and fills you with a sense of dread about going to work in the morning. But, employees who fear losing their jobs or facing other penalties frequently feel they have no choice but to tolerate harassment.
The law protects you, but only if you act. Establishing a hostile work environment claim requires not just a showing of harassment, but also that the employer has been allowed reasonable time to correct the situation and has failed to do so. Certain types of harassment claims require not only that you follow internal procedures, but also that you submit a complaint to an agency prior to pursuing a civil case. Often, agency filings have much tighter deadlines than lawsuits.
An experienced workplace harassment attorney can explain your rights and options so that you can make informed decisions about how to address your situation at work and whether you are ready to pursue a workplace harassment claim against your employer.
You shouldn’t feel trapped, anxious, or unsafe at work. Take control right now by scheduling a free consultation. Just call (818) 914-3433.