Feeling safe and respected in the workplace is not a privilege but a fundamental right. Unfortunately, many employees face sexual harassment, creating a hostile and distressing environment. Sexual harassment at work is defined as unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature that affects an individual’s employment, interferes with their work performance or creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive work environment.
Workplace sexual harassment can be categorized into quid pro quo and hostile work environment:
- Quid pro quo harassment: This type of harassment occurs when employment decisions such as promotions, raises, or job continuation are based on whether an employee submits sexual advances or requests.
- Hostile work environment harassment: This happens when an employee is subjected to unwelcome sexual behavior that is so severe or pervasive that it alters the conditions of their employment and creates an abusive working environment.
The Role of the EEOC in Sexual Harassment Cases
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is a federal agency responsible for enforcing federal laws that make it illegal to harass someone because of their sex. If you believe you have been sexually harassed at work, you can file a complaint, known as a charge of discrimination, with the EEOC.
Before filing a lawsuit in court for sexual harassment, you must first file a charge with the EEOC. The EEOC will investigate your complaint and may attempt to mediate a resolution between you and your employer. If the EEOC cannot determine that a law has been violated, they will give you a right-to-sue letter, allowing you to file a lawsuit in court.
Protection Against Retaliation
It is unlawful for an employer to retaliate against you for reporting sexual harassment or participating in a harassment investigation. Retaliation includes any adverse employment action, such as termination, demotion, pay cuts, or negative evaluations. If you experience retaliation, it is crucial to document it and report it to the EEOC.
A Bucks County Sexual Harassment Lawyer at Sidney L. Gold & Associates, P.C. Can Help You With a Lawsuit
Sexual harassment at work is, unfortunately, pervasive. It happens too frequently, but that never makes it right, fair, or comfortable. You have legal options at your disposal. If you have faced sexual harassment at work, speak with a Bucks County sexual harassment lawyer at Sidney L. Gold & Associates, P.C. today. Call us at 215-569-1999 or contact us online to schedule your free consultation. Located in Philadelphia and Pennsauken, New Jersey, we proudly serve clients in South Jersey and Southeastern Pennsylvania, including Wilkes-Barre, Scranton, Northeast Philadelphia, Bucks County, Chester County, Delaware County, Lehigh County, and Montgomery County.