eDiscovery, legal research and legal memo creation - ready to be sent to your counterparty? Get it done in a heartbeat with AI. (Get started for free)

What should I do if I've been a victim of a sexual harassment incident?

Sexual harassment is not just limited to unwanted physical contact - it can also include unwanted verbal or non-verbal conduct of a sexual nature, such as inappropriate jokes, comments, or gestures.

Victims of sexual harassment are not required to confront the harasser directly before filing a formal complaint.

This common misconception can deter many victims from reporting incidents.

Employers have a legal duty to investigate sexual harassment claims thoroughly and take prompt corrective action, even if the victim initially asks that the complaint be kept confidential.

Retaliation against someone for reporting sexual harassment, such as demotion or termination, is illegal under federal and state laws and can lead to additional legal claims.

Victims do not necessarily need to have suffered a tangible job consequence, such as a lost promotion, to have a valid sexual harassment claim.

A "hostile work environment" can also be grounds for a lawsuit.

The legal definition of sexual harassment covers a wide range of behaviors, including unwanted touching, requests for sexual favors, and exposure to sexually explicit materials, images or conversations.

Employers can be held liable for sexual harassment even if they were unaware of the behavior, if they should have known about it through the exercise of reasonable care.

Witnesses who come forward to corroborate a victim's account of sexual harassment play a crucial role, as their testimony can provide important supporting evidence.

Filing a sexual harassment complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is a required first step before pursuing a lawsuit in court in many jurisdictions.

Victims may be entitled to remedies such as back pay, reinstatement, damages for emotional distress, and attorney's fees if they prevail in a sexual harassment case.

The statute of limitations for filing a sexual harassment claim can vary significantly by state, so it's important for victims to act quickly to preserve their legal rights.

Employees who experience or witness sexual harassment should document all relevant details, such as dates, times, locations, witnesses, and a description of the specific behaviors, to strengthen their case.

Employers are required to provide sexual harassment training to all employees, including supervisors, to help prevent and properly respond to such incidents.

In some cases, victims may also be able to pursue criminal charges, such as for sexual assault or stalking, in addition to their civil lawsuit against the employer.

The psychological impact of sexual harassment can be significant, leading to symptoms like anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder, which may require professional counseling.

Victims have the right to request workplace accommodations, such as a transfer or modified schedule, to help mitigate the effects of the harassment and allow them to continue performing their job duties.

Social media posts or other online content that contributes to a hostile work environment can also be considered sexual harassment, even if the conduct did not occur physically in the workplace.

Employers are prohibited from retaliating against employees who assist in an investigation of sexual harassment, such as by providing witness statements or participating in interviews.

The standard for determining whether conduct is severe or pervasive enough to create a hostile work environment is based on the perspective of a "reasonable person," not the personal sensitivities of the victim.

Victims of sexual harassment may be eligible for workers' compensation benefits if the emotional or physical harm they suffered interferes with their ability to perform their job duties.

eDiscovery, legal research and legal memo creation - ready to be sent to your counterparty? Get it done in a heartbeat with AI. (Get started for free)