Sexual harassment can come in many forms, and all of them are illegal. From sexual jokes to receiving nude photographs or demands for sex, sexual harassment resulting in verbal or physical contact of a sexual nature can create a hostile work environment. Despite protections to prevent sexual harassment, harassment continues to be a problem throughout Hickory, North Carolina, and the United States. With the help of an attorney serving Hickory, North Carolina, you can fight back.
If you’ve been a victim of sexual harassment in the workplace, reach out to a sexual harassment lawyer today for help. A sexual harassment attorney specializes in serving employees who have suffered sexual harassment from their employers or co-workers.
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What Is Considered Sexual Harassment at Work in Hickory, North Carolina?
Sometimes, sexual harassment isn’t reported in a workplace because an employee isn’t clear on what is considered sexual harassment and when inappropriate behavior crosses that line. Some forms of sexual harassment include:
- Making sexually explicit comments or suggestions.
- Uninvited massages or touching.
- Unwanted kissing or hugging.
- Requests to perform sexual favors.
- Cornering someone and discussing sexually explicit details.
- Sexually suggestive gestures.
Specific inappropriate actions are forms of sexual harassment that aren’t overt in appearance. These subtle forms include:
- Discussing someone’s sex life in front of an employee.
- Circulating nude or semi-nude photos in the workplace.
- Making sexually related jokes.
- Repeated complimenting of appearance.
- Commenting on someone’s attractiveness in front of employees.
- Asking another employee about one’s sex life.
- Repeated unwanted touching, such as touching someone’s hand or hugging.
- Spreading sexual rumors.
- Sending suggestive text messages, emails, or other forms of communication.
- Leaving sexual or romantic gifts.
If you’ve experienced any of the above, you should consult with a sexual harassment lawyer in Hickory. Reach out to a sexual harassment lawyer today to learn how you can take steps to end sexual harassment in your workplace. An attorney has the knowledge and experience to help you win a sexual harassment claim.
What Types of Cases Does a Hickory Sexual Harassment Lawyer Handle?
Employment law recognizes two types of sexual harassment as named by the Civil Rights Act Title VI. These types cover sexual harassment in places of employment with more than 15 employees.
- Hostile work environment: This form occurs when an employee becomes subject to physical or verbal conduct of a sexual nature that is so pervasive that it creates an abusive work environment or alters working conditions. A hostile work environment can be challenging to detect. Employees often hide their feelings or don’t show them when something is unwelcoming immediately in fear of retaliation in the workplace.
- Quid pro quo harassment: This form of harassment occurs when someone in a supervisor’s position requests sexual favors or other sexual acts, and those acts result in a tangible job action. For example, an individual demands sex from someone to help the person get a raise or to keep from getting fired.
The truth is that sexual harassment knows no gender. Anyone can become a victim at any time. Sexist comments can also constitute harassment if it is severe enough to create a hostile work environment.
How Should I Deal With Sexual Harassment at Work in Hickory?
Studies have shown that a significant number of people who are victims of sexual harassment in the workplace don’t bring it up to a supervisor, manager, or other forms of administration. If someone comments, makes jokes, or displays any other form of harassment mentioned above, you should state that it is unacceptable and demand it stops.
If the behavior does not stop after speaking up, you should document the harassment on a computer or laptop you own or write a description on paper. Include details such as date, location, and witnesses. The individual harassing you may try to create a defense, so having appropriate documentation is vital.
The next step would be to report the unwanted behavior to your supervisor or human resources department. Suppose employment action, such as an adverse effect like a demotion, suspension, or firing the co-worker who has been sexually harassing you, has failed to take place. In that case, it may be time to consult with a sexual harassment attorney.
Laws prohibit these events, but that doesn’t mean that they stop them completely. Sometimes taking severe action and filing a legal claim is the only way to get it to stop. Consulting with an attorney with experience in sexual harassment cases is your best chance at winning your sexual harassment claim against your employer or co-worker.
How Should My Employer Handle a Sexual Harassment Claim?
If you report sexual harassment to your employer, the company must address your claim effectively and professionally. Your employer should handle sexual harassment in the following ways:
- Distribute an anti-harassment policy: This policy should express that sexual harassment is strictly prohibited in the workplace and toward any employees. The policy should also outline the steps followed to investigate any sexual harassment claim filed. Additionally, the policy itself should also detail that if the harassment occurred, corrective action would result. One policy area should generally outline that the employee can report harassment to someone other than the immediate supervisor, such as a human resources department representative.
- Provide training on sexual harassment: Sexual harassment training helps people understand what behaviors make up sexual harassment. Training should touch on both the physical signs of sexual harassment and detail the consequences of sexual harassment in the workplace.
- Keep appropriate documentation: Your employer should keep written records of your claim and the details surrounding your claim. If your employer fails to do so, you can likely take that action as a sign that your employer doesn’t intend to pursue your claim. If you submit information to your employer, be sure to keep a copy for your records.
Remember that an employer cannot legally retaliate against you if you file a sexual harassment claim. Retaliation includes wrongful termination, involuntary transfer, salary reduction, or other negative job actions.
Suppose your employer fails to make these changes and requests to employees in the workplace, including the person harassing you, or the harassment continues. In that case, it may be time for you to speak with a sexual harassment attorney. You can also consult with an attorney if your employer tries to cause problems for you because you reported sexual harassment.
How Do I Build a Strong Sexual Harassment Case?
It’s important to keep adequate documentation to build a solid sexual harassment case. These documents include details about what type of harassment occurred, where it took place, and who was around to experience the harassment. Keep this information private and only share it with your attorney. If the behavior continues, it’s important to continue documenting it. You should also keep a record of your job performance if any issues concerning it arise. Your attorney will use this information to build a case.
How Much Does a Sexual Harassment Attorney in Hickory Cost?
While the cost of a sexual harassment attorney in North Carolina can vary depending on multiple factors, this cost is nothing compared to the peace of mind you’ll get knowing that the harassment will be coming to an end. Many sexual harassment attorneys offer a free consultation to discuss the details of your case and find out how they can help. They understand that choosing an attorney is essential, and you want to feel comfortable with your decision. A sexual harassment attorney will work hard to protect you and your rights at work.
Contact Our Hickory Sexual Harassment Lawyers Today
A Hickory sexual harassment attorney from The Law Offices of Jason E. Taylor, P.C. can file a legal action against your place of employment for failure to take action necessary to stop the harassment. You have the right to a safe work environment where you don’t feel uncomfortable or scared to come into work every day. As part of our attorney-client relationship, we will guide you through the process, keep you updated on your case, and make sure that you’re comfortable throughout the entirety of it.
If you’re the victim of sexual harassment in the workplace, whether from a co-worker or supervisor, you have the legal right to file a claim. Our Hickory, North Carolina, law firm has a team of experienced attorneys and legal professionals who remain well educated in the laws, rules, and regulations surrounding sexual harassment and workplace claims. You can reach The Law Offices of Jason E. Taylor, P.C. online 24 hours a day, seven days a week, by submitting a secure message online or reaching out to us by phone at 800-351-3008.
120 3rd St NE
Hickory, NC 28601