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Confronting sexual harassment at work

It would be wonderful to believe that sexual harassment in the workplace would by now be a thing of the past. While the ideas that justify sexual harassment remain stuck in another era, this behavior is still unfortunately very present in many offices and work environments around the country.

Despite changing attitudes about workplace behavior, many individuals still choose to act inappropriately, and must be dealt with. If you ever experience this kind of behavior in the workplace, you have a number of options.

Depending on the nature of the offense, this incident could lead to a number of legal actions against the individual or the employer. An experienced attorney can help you understand the finer points of the law surrounding sexual harassment in the workplace and examine your experience to build a strong case for justice.

Single instance or behavior pattern?

Depending on what occurred in a particular instance of sexual harassment, you may have grounds for either a quid pro quo harassment claim or a hostile work environment claim. Quid pro quo claims infer that a superior demanded an employee endure sexual harassment or receive some punishment. A single instance of certain behavior can justify a quid pro quo claim.

In contrast, some harassment may come from anywhere in your workplace, not only from superiors. If an individual acts inappropriately more than once, you may have grounds to establish a hostile work environment claim.

Reporting harassment in the workplace

If you experience harassment in the workplace, you should report it to the proper person within the company or organization. If your employer does not address the issue sufficiently, they may find themselves liable in a claim as well.

In some instances, an employer may seek to protect the individual who commits the harassment, or may want to silence a person reporting any harassment. It is important for individuals who experience sexual harassment to understand that employers break the law if they retaliate against those who report harassment.

If your employer chooses for some foolish reason to punish you for reporting sexual harassment, you may face a much larger, more complicated path to justice, and it may involve filing multiple lawsuits.

If you are unsure how to proceed in your fight against sexual harassment in the workplace, don't be afraid to speak to an experienced employment law attorney to strengthen your strategies. Professional legal counsel can help you identify the strengths in your claim and protect your rights as you fight for a safe workplace.

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