Sexual Harassment

What is sexual harassment?

Sexual harassment is a prohibited form of employment discrimination, and it is illegal. Sexual harassment consists of unwanted verbal or physical sexual advances, sexually explicit statements, or discriminatory comments. Sexual harassment can take many forms; it can be either obvious, easy to name, or it can be subtle. For example, sexual harassment can be as direct as unwelcome touching, petting or hugging, or grabbing breasts or buttocks, or pressing or rubbing up against the victim, or it can be as passive as exhibiting pornography in the workplace, or making sexist jokes. Under the law, there are two major areas of sexual harassment: quid pro quo, and hostile work environment. In “Quid Pro Quo” sexual harassment (meaning “something for something”), an employee may be threatened with demotion or termination if she or he does not grant some type of sexual attention or favor. In “Hostile Work Environment” sexual harassment, it is the actual workplace that has become uncomfortable or offensive to an employee, and may have the effect of interfering with a person’s work performance. This hostile and intimidating work environment can be caused by unwelcome touching or grabbing, dirty jokes, obscene comments, and actual physical assault. Retaliation by the employer against the employee for filing a claim of sexual harassment is also prohibited. An employer can retaliate against an employee in many ways, including firing, demoting, or transferring her or him.

I’m not sure I can afford a lawyer. Can you help me?

We offer free initial consultations to all of our potential clients. In addition, most employment matters are handled on a contingency basis. This means that you will not owe any attorney fees unless and until we secure a monetary settlement or verdict on your behalf. However, it is necessary in many employment cases for the client to provide a retainer fee in the beginning, to cover costs and expenses. Come in and see us, and we’ll discuss your individual situation.