Tips & Advice
How much does it cost to hire a sexual harassment attorney?
The cost to hire a sexual harassment attorney depends on the specifics of your case. Every case is unique and, since most bill hourly, the more time spent by the lawyer means more cash out of your pocket. If you are suing for damages, some lawyers will work on a contingency basis, meaning you pay no fees and they take a percentage of any damages. Fee arrangements are all part of a standard consultation discussion you have with any potential legal representative. Some attorneys, but not all, will a free initial consultation. That can be helpful if you are financially limited. Make sure you find out up front, as costs can escalate quickly.
What should you do if you are being sexually harassed?
If you are being harassed at work, the first step is to tell the aggressor that you are offended or feel threatened (use your own words) and they should stop. Communicate this quickly and clearly. If you do not feel comfortable doing this yourself, and/or the situation continues or escalates, notify your workplace personnel in charge of handling sexual harassment--often a human resources professional--and follow their and the company’s procedures. If that doesn’t work, you can consult an attorney or file a claim with the local Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, or a local civil rights or human rights agency, and they will investigate and/or intervene on your behalf.
What is 'quid pro quo' sexual harassment?
Quid pro quo sexual harassment, as it is defined for the workplace, is the hint or suggestion (by a superior or authority figure) that a raise, promotion, or specific benefits can be had by satisfying sexual demands. While it might not come across as a threatening act, necessarily, using sex as leverage is a big no-no.
Can a compliment be deemed a sexual harassment?
Compliments being regarded as sexual harassment fall on a case-by-case basis. Common sense dictates that a kind gesture or genuine compliment that a reasonable person would not construe as vulgar, offensive, or unwanted, is not going to be harassment. But singling out specific body parts, using vulgar language or innuendo, or making aggressive or offensive remarks or overtures can quickly escalate into a problem. Different people have different sensitivities. Use common sense, and err on the side of respect and restraint.
What is prohibited retaliation?
Prohibited retaliation is a law that protects employees from retaliation by a company or individual, usually as a result of a complaint filed by the victim, either internally or externally, about workplace harassment or discrimination. Workplace retaliation is any adverse action that an employer may take toward the person filing the claim. They might prevent advancement, deny raises, or even try to fire the personas retaliation. The law prevents employers from punishing (or retaliating against) employees for reporting harassment or discrimination in the workplace.
Is asking someone for a date considered sexual harassment?
Asking someone on a date is not considered sexual harassment, however, if one party continues to pursue the other after initial rejections, it can escalate to harassment under certain circumstances. If someone is rejected yet continues to aggressively pursue, or uses their position of authority to coerce, that is grounds for a potential harassment case. Aggressive and unwanted pursuit of an individual can be sexual harassment, but a casual request for a date is not. Note, however, that workplace relationship policies vary by company. Some organizations discourage or have policies against workplace relationships, especially if either party is supervising or has professional influence over the other.
Is sexual harassment only when men harass women?
No, sexual harassment is absolutely not limited to male-on-female offenses. The number of men reporting being the victims of sexual harassment, by either men or women, is on the rise. Sexual harassment can occur between any two members of either sex.
What does a sexual harassment attorney do?
Sexual harassment attorneys can prosecute or sue on behalf of victims of sexual harassment. Lawsuits can be filed against individuals and/or entities such as businesses or corporations if they are actively involved in, or complicit in, sexual harassment. They can also represent defendants who might be wrongly accused of sexual harassment--and that defense can even involve countersuits for issues like defamation of character. False accusations are illegal and can be extremely damaging and prosecutable.
What is sexual harassment?
Sexual harassment is aggressive pressure or intimidation based on someone’s gender. It can include unwanted touching or groping; obscene, sexually explicit or suggestive language or behavior; unwanted advances (particularly if the pursued person makes it clear they are not interested); and behaviors that can be construed as sexual or suggestive in nature that make someone feel threatened or uncomfortable. It’s often associated with workplace harassment, but it is not limited to the workplace. Sexual harassment can be a prosecutable offense.