Sexual Harassment in the Workplace
Have you been a victim of sexual harassment in the workplace? Perhaps it’s a coworker who’s making sexually explicit jokes around the water cooler. Or maybe your boss promises you a promotion if you go out on a date with him. Whatever the conduct may be, if it is unwanted and of a sexual nature, then there’s a good chance it’s sexual harassment. Contact our Las Vegas employment law attorneys today to protect your rights.
Sexual Harassment in the Workplace | Definition
Sexual harassment is a form of sex discrimination and constitutes any conduct in the workplace that is of a sexual nature and is both unwelcome and creates a hostile or offensive working environment. Based on this definition, there are two components that must both be present for sexual harassment to exist.
First, the sexual behavior must be unwanted. If the recipient of a comment, joke, physical touching, or sexual request consents to the behavior, then it’s not sexual harassment. Determining whether this behavior is welcome is often tricky. Many defendants in sexual harassment civil lawsuits are dismayed to learn that what they thought was consensual sexual behavior is not consensual after all.
Second, the unwanted sexual conduct makes the victim uncomfortable to the extent that it interferes with work or creates an intimidating, offensive or hostile work environment. This is a broad concept and can include anything of a sexual nature that intimidates or offends the victim.
Sexual Harassment in the Workplace | Examples
The classic example of quid pro quo sexual harassment occurs when a boss tells a subordinate that she must sleep with him if she wants to keep her job, receive a promotion or get a raise.
The second type of sexual harassment is hostile work environment. A hostile work environment exists when the sexual harassment is pervasive or severe enough to change the victim’s working conditions. Examples of hostile work environment can include:
- Asking personal questions of a sexual nature.
- Sending sexual jokes or materials through office email.
- Giving constant compliments about someone’s appearance.
- Discussing one’s sex life at work.
- Spreading sexual rumors about another employee.
- Unwanted touching, even if it’s not overtly sexual.
- Constantly asking out a coworker despite the coworker repeatedly saying no.
- Giving unwanted gifts that have romantic or sexual intentions.
Sexual harassment can exist even when the harasser is of the same sex of the victim or shows no romantic interest in them. As long as the basis of the sexual harassment is based on the victim’s sex, then it is unlawful. If you believe you have been the victim of sexual harassment in the workplace, please contact our experienced Las Vegas sexual harassment lawyers today to arrange a free confidential consultation.
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