Boston Sexual Harassment Lawyer

You have a right, both on the federal and state level, not to face sexual harassment in the workplace. If you are being harassed in a sexual manner while on the job, there are a number of steps to take to stop the harassment, from reporting it to your employer to filing a lawsuit. Below, we will take a close look at what sexual harassment is, how you can stop it, and when a employment lawyer in Boston can help.

What is Sexual Harassment?

Legally, sexual harassment is defined as any unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical harassment of a sexual nature. It is important to understand that although most cases of sexual harassment involved heterosexual men harassing women, anyone can be involved in a sexual harassment case, men and women, gay and straight. It is also important to understand that most legally actionable forms of sexual harassment result in negative job outcomes, such as:

  • Creating a hostile work environment.
  • Resulting in the loss of your job.
  • Resulting in a missed promotion or job advancement.

Unfortunately, sexual harassment can take an almost infinite number of forms and can range from merely inappropriate to highly damaging and dangerous. Just of few example of sexual harassment might include:

  • Offensive sexual remarks, such as about a person’s appearance, gender, or sexual orientation.
  • Unwanted sexual advances.
  • Written comments of a sexual nature, such as letters or emails.
  • Unwanted touching or other physical contact.
  • Unwanted gestures or facial expressions.
  • Sexual assault or comments/threats about sexual assault.

Note that frequency matter when discussing sexual harassment. A single dirty joke or a bit of teasing may be inappropriate, but might not be legally deemed harassment if it is an isolated incident. However, with every new incident of sexual jokes or teasing, your case for sexual harassment grows.

Finally, understand that a harasser can range from a supervisor, a subordinate, co-worker, or contractor to a client, a customer, or a vendor.

What Should You Do When Faced With Sexual Harassment At Work?

There are many legal protections in place for the victims of sexual assault. In most cases, your case will be stronger and you will be best protected if you follow the below steps after being harassed on the job.

  • Confront your harasser or harassers. This step can be extremely difficult, but it serves two purposes: first, in some cases, it can simply stop the harassment in its tracks by making the offenders aware of their actions. Secondly, it can strengthen your case against them legally if they do not stop. Do not confront your harasser if you fear it could put you in danger.
  • File a report with your employer. The second step is to tell a supervisor or file an official report with your company. Be as detailed as possible. Your company will make the next move as it tries to resolve your issue internally. Filing a report with your employer will also create a record of your complaints
  • File with the Federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). Under federal law, you are protected by Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. This requires you to fill out a report with the EEOC and try to resolve your case through them. This organization may investigate, dismiss, mediate, or settle your case, depending on the evidence presented. This step is required legally before filing a lawsuit.
  • File a lawsuit. If the EEOC is unable to resolve your case, you have to option of filing a sexual harassment lawsuit. Speak to an attorney about your case to find out your best options for moving forward, securing a harassment-free work environment, and holding your harassers responsible for their actions.

Remember that it is illegal for your employer to retaliate against you for reporting sexual harassment or filing reports or lawsuits regarding instances of sexual harassment at your workplace.

Finally, be sure to keep records of everything that occurs during this process. This could include writing down each instance of harassment, keeping track of emails regarding the harassment, and noting the date and time of all of your actions related to your case.

Talk To Us Confidentially About Your Case

It can be difficult to talk about sexual harassment, especially if you are worried about your employment, your future career, or your safety. At Sweeney Merrigan Law, we offer free, private, and confidential consultations where you can meet with a lawyer, ask all of your questions, and be listened to without judgement. To schedule a meeting, please call (617) 391-9001 today.