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 personal injury lawyer in Boston can help.
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:
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:
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.
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.
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.
Sexual harassment typically describes a violation of civil law. It may or may not meet the definition of a crime. If someone sexually assaults you at work, you may be able to press criminal charges against that person as well as file a civil claim. Sexual assault can refer to rape, attempted rape, molestation, fondling and unwanted sexual touching. Even if the action does not meet the definition of a crime, you could still have grounds to file a civil claim against the perpetrator or your employer.
A civil lawsuit for workplace sexual harassment seeks to hold an employer liable for the plaintiff’s damages. An employer may be vicariously liable for the actions and misconduct of an employee. Your employer may not face criminal charges, but you could still receive financial compensation through a successful civil claim. Filing a claim against your employer could lead to compensation for damages such as emotional distress, mental anguish, lost wages, lost earning opportunities, legal expenses, court fees, punitive damages and more. Discuss the potential value of your sexual harassment claim with our lawyers today.
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, our Boston injury attorneys 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.