Sexual Harassment

Sexual Harassment

Sexual harassment in the workplace is a serious offense that affects countless employees each year. No one deserves to have their personal safety and comfort put at risk, especially in a professional work environment. If you are the victim of sexual harassment from a coworker or boss, it’s important to speak with an experienced Mesa employer lawyer right away.

Types of Workplace Sexual Harassment

Sexual harassment can be divided into two main categories as described by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. These include a ‘hostile work environment’ and ‘quid pro quo.’

A hostile work environment involves unwarranted physical, emotional, or verbal conduct that prevents employees from performing their job duties. Quid pro quo can be described as a situation in which a person uses sexual harassment in exchange for something else (e.g., a “this for that” scenario). For example, an employer may offer an employee a promotion in exchange for sexual favors.

Other examples of sexual harassment include:

  • Comments made about an employee’s body or clothing
  • Unwelcomed visual, written, verbal, or physical sexual behavior
  • Sexual intimidation
  • Sexual-based jokes
  • Direct requests for sexual favors
  • Inappropriate kissing, hugging or touching

What Constitutes Sexual Harassment in Arizona?

Sexual harassment includes requests for sexual favors in exchange for hiring, wage increases, or promotion. It may also include frequent sexual comments, unwanted touching, sexual jokes, lewd remarks, or pornographic photos. Any of these actions would constitute a violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 which affects all companies with 15 or more employees.

What Does Sexual Harassment Not Include?

Employers are not required to receive training in sexual harassment law but are strongly encouraged to in order to reduce the occurrence of sexual harassment in the workplace. Sexual harassment could be a single incident or ongoing incidents that occur over time. However, not every action of a sexual nature constitutes sexual harassment. One-time sexual references or mild teasing may not be considered sexual harassment. To be considered sexual harassment, an action must cause distress to the individual, be seriously offensive, and be performed on a repeating basis.

How to File a Sexual Harassment Claim in Arizona

There are several steps that you should take when dealing with sexual harassment in the workplace. Start by speaking to the individual who is harassing you and inform them that it makes you uncomfortable and to stop immediately. If you are not comfortable facing this person on your own, ask a supervisor to step in. Employers are prohibited from retaliating against an employee who files a sexual harassment complaint.

When faced with sexual harassment, perform the following steps:

  • Report the behavior to a supervisor.
  • Review the employee manual and follow the outlined steps on how to handle sexual harassment.
  • Maintain records of harassment incidents, when they occurred, and what happened.
  • Ask any witnesses to provide a signed statement of what they saw.
  • If the company is not willing to resolve the issue, file a complaint with the Equal Opportunity Employment Commission.

Hire a Mesa Employment Lawyer Today

Sexual harassment can cause serious distress to employees and can negatively impact job performance. If you are the victim of sexual harassment in the workplace, take the necessary steps to protect your rights. Call our office today at 480-613-7917 or complete our online form to schedule your free case review.

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