Sexual Harassment in the Iowa Workplace

When people think of sexual harassment in the workplace, images of male executives making passes at their female co-workers often come to mind. Although a lot of progress has been made in recent years to promote fairness and equality in the workplace, the truth is, sexual harassment is still a rampant problem in the contemporary work environment.

At Higgins Law Firm, PLLC, we fight for the victims of sexual harassment by working tirelessly to hold employers responsible for misconduct. We do this by using our skill and experience to gather evidence and testimony to build a strong case. To learn more about our discreet and effective methods, contact our Des Moines law office.

Understanding the Law and Sexual Harassment

Whether you work in a downtown office or on the line for a manufacturer, the laws governing sexual harassment are the same. The law defines sexual harassment as “unwelcome” conduct that an employee is subjected to “because of the employee’s sex.” Essentially, sexual or gender harassment is verbal or physical conduct by an employer, co-worker or even a client/customer that is sex-based and negatively affects an employee’s working environment. To be illegal the conduct must amount to more than simple teasing, offhand comments or isolated incidents that are not very serious.

Although sexual harassment and gender discrimination can take innumerable forms, a few common examples include the following:

  • Sexual advances — More than just unwanted flirtation, sexual advances can be physical, verbal and written, such as comments made via email or social media.
  • Requests for sexual favors — Sometimes referred to as quid pro quo, these instances involve a co-worker or even a supervisor requesting sexual favors in return for special treatment, advancement or compensation.
  • Gender-based comments — These may include exposure to comments that disparage women, including slurs, derogatory comments made toward pregnant women, negative stereotyping and written or graphic material that depicts women in a negative light. Not limited to women, these harmful actions may be directed toward men or a person’s sexual orientation.
  • Sexually charged workplace — A working environment may feel hostile if sexually offensive conduct or language is common and is not addressed or condoned by management.

An Iowa Lawyer Empowering Clients to Overcome Intimidation

Although the circumstances of each case vary, it’s common for victims of sexual harassment to feel trapped and without options when trying to bring attention to sexual misconduct. If a manager or supervisor is the one making advances, it can be more difficult than if another co-worker was responsible.

As your attorney, we will listen to your story and offer clear, straightforward advice on how to proceed, all while guiding you throughout the legal process until your case is resolved. Schedule a free, confidential initial consultation by calling our Des Moines, Iowa, law office at 515-619-9148 or by completing our online contact form.