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Sexual Harassment and Low-Wage Workers

August 13th, 2018

Philadelphia sexual harassment lawyers help low-wage workers who are harassed at work.Recently, sexual harassment at work has made headlines. Although the MeToo Movement has focused primarily on the experiences of those in Hollywood, those who have the most to lose by sexual harassment at work are low-wage workers. There may be more than meets the eye with low-wage workers that have wage claims against their employers. Withholding wages may be related to more pervasive issues happening among employees, especially women.

A 2016 study by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s Select Taskforce found that 25 percent of all women have experienced some form of sexual harassment at work. A separate study of female farmworkers show that this number is around 80 percent for them. This number may be more representative of what is happening in low-wage environments.

In a low-wage workforce, employers may perform sexual harassment by withholding wages if an employee does not go out on a date with the employer or if they do not provide requested sexual favors. Additionally, the low-wage worker may be coerced in working more than 40 hours per week without overtime for the same reasons. Employees in low-wage jobs may feel more vulnerable since their choice of available jobs are limited.

Certain low-wage workers may also have immigration issues or obtained legal immigration status through their employer, so reporting their employer on a sexual harassment claim could lead to losing legal immigration status. Certain low-wage workers are provided housing by their employers as well so that can also make it very difficult to bring claims of sexual harassment.

Deciphering Sexual Harassment from Other Workplace Complaints

Philadelphia sexual harassment lawyers are aware of additional workplace complaints and issues, such as wage theft, which may ultimately be related to sexual harassment and coercion in the workplace. Low-wage workers must be aware that they have the same rights as any other employee under the Pennsylvania Human Relations Act, which prevents discrimination based on sex and sexual harassment at work.

Certain workers may feel that sexual harassment is endemic to their workplace or inextricably embedded in the culture of that workplace, like industries where there could be interactions in unsupervised or low-trafficked areas, such as in the restaurant industry. No matter the type of environment or pervasive culture, sexual harassment and discrimination based on sex is illegal.

Philadelphia Sexual Harassment Lawyers at The Gold Law Firm P.C. Help Victims Sexually Harassed at Work

If you or someone you know has experienced sexual harassment and have either complained at work or are considering making a complaint, contact the Philadelphia sexual harassment lawyers at The Gold Law Firm P.C. Call us today at 215-569-1999 or contact us online for a free case evaluation. We are centrally located in Philadelphia, and we serve clients from the surrounding areas, including Bucks County, Chester County, Delaware County, and Montgomery County.

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