Seeking Justice For Sexual Harassment Victims
The 3 Facts All Victims Should Know About Sexual Harassment
At Housh Law Offices, PLLC, we regularly represent victims of sexual harassment in lawsuits against their employers, former employers, and those who committed the harassment. We have seen just how destructive sexual harassment can be to the victims and to the overall morale of a given workplace.
After experiencing sexual harassment in the workplace, it is easy to feel alone. You may ask: can anyone understand what I have been going through? This is understandable but somewhat ironic, given the fact that most stories of sexual harassment are strikingly similar to one another. The first thing you should know about sexual harassment is: you are not alone.
Second, you should know that sexual harassment was not and is not your fault. It is all too easy for victims to blame themselves, but such blame is misplaced. You did not encourage harassment by what you wore, what you said, or what you didn’t say. You did not lead anyone on.
Finally, you should know that sexual harassment is not “normal,” and you should not have to “just deal with it.” Normal activities do not leave people feeling humiliated and embarrassed, and that is a very common reaction to sexual harassment. You have rights, and those rights need to be respected.
What Constitutes Workplace Sexual Harassment?
Many different actions and comments can be considered sexual harassment, but nearly all of them fall into two basic categories.
Quid pro quo sexual harassment: A Latin phrase roughly translated as “this for that.” If your boss offers you a raise or promotion in exchange for sex or sexual acts, that is quid pro quo. Similarly, if your boss threatens to fire or demote you if you don’t have sex with him (or continue to put up with his harassment), that may also be quid pro quo.
Hostile work environment: The majority of sexual harassment behaviors are classified under hostile work environment. Your employer may be creating a hostile work environment if your employer or co-workers:
- Make unwelcome, lewd comments about you or about other employees (that you can hear)
- Touch you in unwelcome and inappropriate ways
- Make sexist, lewd jokes or comments to you or to one another within earshot
- Share sexually explicit emails, text messages or posters with you or distribute them to the office
- View pornography at work and you are subjected to it (even briefly)
These are just a few of the seemingly endless examples of sexual harassment that we hear about as harassment victims’ attorneys. As these examples suggest, you can and should report sexual harassment even if you were not the targeted victim.
Call Us For A Confidential Discussion About Your Case
With locations in Buffalo and Rochester, Housh Law Offices, PLLC, serve clients in Western New York and the Finger Lakes region. To discuss your case with one of our experienced employment lawyers, call us at 716-362-1129. You can also fill out our online contact form.