Sexual Harassment in The Workplace
At Connor & Morneau, LLP our employment attorneys fight for clients who have experienced unwanted and offensive sexual harassment in the workplace. We understand that unwanted sexual harassment can jeopardize not only your livelihood but your emotional and physical health as well. Our team believes that it is also important it is to hold organizations and individuals accountable so they don’t continue to harass others in the future.
What Is Considered Sexual Harassment?
According to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), sexual harassment may include:
- Sexual advances
- Requests for sexual favors
- Physical contact of a sexual nature
- Verbal or visual harassment of a sexual nature
- Offensive sexual comments
- Unwanted, repetitive teasing of a sexual nature
Any harassment that results in an adverse employment decision, such as being fired, being denied a promotion, or otherwise penalized constitutes illegal sexual harassment.
At Connor & Morneau, LLP, we have seen the devastating impact that sexual harassment can have on victims’ lives and are committed to helping make things right for them. We know how to build strong cases that maximize all available damages and hold responsible parties accountable for their actions. If you or someone you love has been subjected to a sexually hostile work environment, it is critical to speak to an experienced sexual harassment lawyer who can help protect your rights.
LGBTQ Discrimination And Harassment In The Workplace
Harassing or discriminating against a worker because of their sexual orientation or gender identity is against the law in Massachusetts. Some examples of this type of harassment include:
- Poor work reviews or being fired or being passed up for a promotion for no other reason than sexual orientation or gender identity
- Disparaging remarks, insults, threats, bullying, or any other hostile behavior based on sexual orientation or gender identity
If you’re a member of the LGBTQ community who is being harassed at work or dealing with a hostile work environment, you may have recourse for recovering compensation in a discrimination or sexual harassment lawsuit.
What To Do If You Are Being Sexually Harassed At Work
If you are being sexually harassed at work, it is important to address the issue to protect yourself and your right to file a claim if the behavior does not stop.
- Tell the person who is harassing you that you want their behavior to stop. Be clear that it makes you uncomfortable and needs to cease immediately.
- Report harassing behavior to your manager or company’s HR department. Make sure to include details about what happened and when and where the harassment occurred. If there were witnesses to the harassment, give your manager or HR their names.
- Document each harassing interaction or incident in writing. You should also include details about how and when you reported the harassment to your supervisor or HR. A written record can be critical to a successful sexual harassment claim down the road.
If you fear retaliation or you are dealing with a hostile work environment because the harassment has not stopped even after you reported it, contact an attorney. If you suspect that you were wrongfully terminated because you denied someone’s sexual advances or reported harassment, a sexual harassment lawyer can evaluate your case and advise you of the most effective course of action for recovering compensation and finding justice.
Remedies And Damages For Sexual Harassment
If you file a claim with the EEOC, it must be made within 180 days of the act of sexual harassment. However, the statute of limitations for sexual harassment claims in Massachusetts is 300 days from the date of the last act of harassment. If you file a claim and are dissatisfied with the determination, you have the right to appeal it.
If you file a sexual harassment claim and a determination is made in your favor, you may:
- Be reinstated to your original position
- Receive a promotion you were wrongfully denied
- Get paid for past and future lost wages and benefits
- Receive compensation for medical costs you incurred as a result of sexual harassment
- Be eligible for compensation for your emotional suffering caused by the harassment
- Recover attorneys’ fees and court costs
These are just a few types of remedies and damages that may be available to you. Each case is unique, so it is critical to speak to an attorney who can determine which types of damages you may be able to recover. Our employment lawyers at Connor & Morneau, LLP offer a free initial consultation for those who believe they may have been victims of sexual harassment in the workplace.
Schedule A Consultation With An Employment Discrimination Lawyer
Our team at Connor & Morneau, LLP is committed to helping victims of sexual harassment with compassion and dignity. Our employment attorneys in Springfield, Massachusetts serve clients in Hampden, Hampshire, Franklin, Berkshire, and Worcester counties and throughout New England. To schedule a consultation, contact us online or call 413-455-1730.