Sexual harassment is a serious problem in many workplaces across America. As a matter of fact, the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission—EEOC for short—reports having received a total of 6,862 sexual harassment allegations for the year 2014. The issue is also commonly heard about all over media outlets, often with news reports showing that such incidents can happen across a number of industries. From Hollywood to the academe, sexual harassment in the workplace remains one of the most common obstructions that need to be eradicated as soon as possible.
Sexual harassment is generally described as any unwelcome sexual advance. This can include request for sexual favors, and any other physical or verbal contact of the same nature. The website of the Fort Smith injury lawyers of McCutchen Buckley – The Law Firm also include incidents like making inappropriate jokes or innuendos, making indecent gestures, unwelcome touching, and talking about explicit sexual acts also count as sexual harassment. When it happens in the workplace, sexual harassment is understood as a clear violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits employers from discriminating against both employees and job candidates due to their gender, sex, race, ethnicity, national origin, and religion.
Employees who become targets of sexual harassment can make two types of claims. The first one involves incidents that involve an employment decision in exchange for unwanted sexual attention. These incidents are referred to as ‘quid pro quo’ and they include unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors or any other acts that involve having an employee submit to sexual attention in exchange for opportunities like promotions, projects, and special assignments. The second type of sexual harassment claim involves incidents that make for a hostile work environment. These are incidents that make the workplace a challenging arena for employees, subjecting them to intimidation, hostility, and other offensive behaviors.
Anyone who has been subject to such incidents should not hesitate to seek out legal counsel right away. Sexual harassment is a serious issue that can affect a person’s income and employment opportunities. If you have been a victim of sexual harassment in the workplace, speak with an experienced sexual abuse attorney to learn more about options you can take.