Workplace Sexual Harassment
Sexual harassment of any kind, especially in a working environment, is illegal. Sadly, a report from the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (or EEOC) revealed that up to 85% of working women have experienced sexual harassment or abuse at their place of work. However, these unlawful acts are rarely reported. Only 38% of women and 14% of men have reported experiencing sexual harassment at work, according to a 2019 report by the Center on Gender Equity and Health at UC San Diego School of Medicine.
Everyone deserves the right to go to work and provide for themself or their family without being inappropriately touched, violated, or humiliated. If you have been sexually harassed at work, you may be able to get justice. Our team of attorneys at The Button Law Firm are experienced in advocating for our clients who are survivors of workplace sexual harassment and holding employers accountable for this degrading behavior.
Types of Sexual Harassment at Work Across Industries
Sexual harassment can range in behavior from unwelcome sexual advances to verbally suggestive comments. And it can occur between employees of the opposite sex as well as same-sex employees.
There are two types of sexual harassment in the eyes of the law:
- A hostile work environment is the typical type of sexual harassment that employees experience at work. This is when sexual conduct or hostility makes you feel unsafe or intimidated at work and your job becomes unbearable. Actions that fall under this type of sexual harassment include:
- Unwanted sexual advances like inappropriate touching or brushing up against you
- Comments about your body
- Inappropriate texts, social media messages, or emails
- Lewd remarks and jokes
- A harasser exposing him/herself or forcing you to watch a sexual act
- Quid pro quo happens when a manager or superior says something that threatens your job, a raise or promotion, or a requested day off, and is dependent on accepting sexual advances or providing sexual favors.
While sexual harassment can happen in any work environment, here is a list of the most common industries with employees who have filed sexual harassment charges:
- Hospitality and food services, including hotel cleaning and maintenance workers, and restaurant employees like servers and bartenders
- Retail such as sales associates and stockers
- Manufacturing such as assembly workers
- Health care and social assistance such as nurses, therapists, staff members, and aides
- Administrative support, and waste management and remediation
- Public administration like government workers, teachers, and first responders
- Professional, scientific, and technical services, including corporate settings and lab work
- Transportation and warehousing like bus drivers, delivery drivers, and warehouse workers
Retaliation and How To Fight It
Sexual harassment in the workplace is not widely reported because employees fear retaliation. This is when you experience concerns about getting fired or being relocated, or you’re worried that your career will be hindered in any way after following the proper protocols to report the inappropriate behavior to your employer.
Any threatening or intimidation tactics that an employer or management team member uses to prevent you from reporting sexual harassment is illegal.
What To Do If You’re Being Sexually Harassed at Work
It is common for people who experience sexual harassment in a working environment to feel ashamed, embarrassed, or diminished morale. However, you can take back the power.
If you are being sexually harassed at work, act immediately.
- First, try to document your experiences as much as possible. This can be as simple as a journal entry or taking notes via an app on your smartphone that details the date the harassment took place, what happened, who was involved, and if any people witnessed the harassment. Also, if any text messages or social media messages are involved, take screenshots that include the time and date the messages were sent.
- Next, contact our team of workplace sexual harassment attorneys by calling 214-699-4409 or fill out a contact form. We are experienced in handling these sensitive issues and will advocate on your behalf.
How We Can Help You Hold Your Employer Accountable for Sexual Harassment
We understand the complicated feelings and the stress that can result from sexual harassment at work. Our team of workplace sexual harassment attorneys is committed to listening to you and helping you navigate the legal process to hold your employer and harasser accountable. Call us at 214-699-4409 or fill out a contact form.
Frequently Asked Questions About Workplace Sexual Harassment
- Who does The Button Law Firm represent?
- Our attorneys at The Button Law Firm advocate for individuals who work across a variety of industries, including food service, hospitality, retail, and corporate settings, who have experienced sexual harassment in the workplace. We work hard to hold employers accountable for inappropriate behavior and treatment of employees. We also help fight any instances of retaliation that individuals may have experienced after reporting sexual harassment to management or superiors at their place of work.
- How can I file a lawsuit or claim?
- What proof do I need to file a lawsuit to hold my employer accountable?
- Any documentation of your sexual harassment experience in the workplace is helpful. This can be as simple as a journal entry or taking notes in an app on your smartphone that details the date that the harassment took place, what happened, who was involved, and if any people witnessed the harassment. Also, if any text messages or social media messaging were involved, screenshots are helpful to build your case.
- What can I receive if I file a lawsuit?
- If you have experienced sexual harassment at your place of work or retaliation after reporting it, you may be eligible for monetary compensation to cover any lost wages or employment benefits, counseling support, or emotional distress because of your experience.