Every person has the right to work or look for a job without suffering sexual harassment. This right is guaranteed by Title VII of The Civil Rights Act of 1964, a federal law and by Ohio’s laws that prohibit discrimination. Sadly, violations of these laws occur with alarming frequency. At The Friedmann Firm, our Cincinnati sexual harassment lawyers fight to hold employers accountable when employees are sexually harassed by a supervisor or by a co-worker.
In February 2018, NPR reported that a survey revealed 81% of women and 41% of men “experienced some form of sexual harassment during their lifetime.” Among the female victims, 38 percent said that their harassment had happened at work.
Later that year, researchers at the University of Massachusetts published data indicating that “about 5 million employees are sexually harassed at work every year.”
In addition to highlighting how common workplace sexual harassment is, the survey and study results indicate that both women and men can become victims. Perpetrators can be of the same sex and sexual orientation as the individuals they harass, and the harassment can come from bosses or coworkers.
Sexual harassment takes two basic forms. The first is often called “quid pro quo harassment,” as it involves demands for dates or sexual favors in return for keeping a job, receiving benefits, or qualifying for a promotion. Our Cincinnati sexual harassment lawyer explains what to know about work quid pro quo sexual harassment.
The second type of workplace sexual harassment creates a hostile work environment. In these situations, a victim of sexual harassment is subjected to lewd or insulting comments about their looks and sexual desirability, touched inappropriately, mocked for being feminine or unmanly, threated with sexual assault, and/or made to feel devalued by displays of pornography. If you believe that you have been the victim of sexual harassment in the workplace, call a Cincinnati sexual harassment lawyer now.
It is not unusual for a worker to be subjected to quid pro quo sexual harassment and to encounter a hostile work environment. Grounds for filing a complaint exist when the harassment is unwanted and unwelcome, happens more than once, and interferes with one’s ability to feel safe and complete their job-related duties. It is VITAL that you report the sexual harassment to a supervisor and/or Human Resources if the harassment involves a co-worker. An employer cannot remedy something it does not know about. In order for you to have a claim against your employer for co-worker sexual harassment, you must report it to the employer first and the employer must fail to act or fail to act appropriately.
The analysis changes if the harasser is your direct supervisor and has the ability to fire you, discipline you or demote you. You should always consult with a Cincinnati sexual harassment attorney regarding how to report the sexual harassment before resigning. Additionally, asexual assault at work is both an actual crime and grounds for a harassment lawsuit.
According to the UMass researchers, 99.8 percent of workplace sexual harassment incidents go unreported. This is largely because victims fear that coming forward will get them fired or set them up for other types of retaliation such as verbal and physical mistreatment. The university study confirms those fears, indicating that a little more than two-thirds of the sexual harassment cases investigated by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission included allegations of retaliation.
As sexual harassment attorneys practicing in southern Ohio, we advise clients on how to document and report harassment while minimizing risks for retaliation. We also strive to protect our clients’ privacy as their case progresses. Most importantly, we are skilled in addressing arguments from an employer that instances of sexual harassment never happened or were welcome and encouraged by the victim.
If you are experiencing workplace sexual harassment in or near Cincinnati, let us know if we can help. Call our Cincinnati sexual harassment attorneys at (614) 610-9755 or connect with us online to schedule a free, confidential consultation.