Tuesday, May 19th, 2009
Sexual Harassment Attorney? We are Texas’s best sexual harassment, discrimination, whistleblower, and wrongful termination attorneys!
Sexual harassment is unwanted and unwelcome behavior, or attention, of a sexual
nature that interferes with your life and your ability to function at work, home, or school.
Sexual advances, forced sexual activity, statements about sexual orientation or
sexuality, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual
nature all constitute sexual harassment. The behavior may be direct or implied.
Sexual harassment can affect an individual’s work or school performance, and can
create an intimidating, hostile, or offensive environment.
Sexual harassment can occur in a variety of circumstances, including but not limited to the following:
-The victim as well as the harasser may be a woman or a man. The victim does not have to be of the opposite sex.
-The harasser can be the victim’s supervisor, an agent of the employer, a supervisor in another area, a co-worker, or a non-employee.
-The victim does not have to be the person harassed but could be anyone affected by the offensive conduct.
-Unlawful sexual harassment may occur without economic injury to or discharge of the victim.
-Sexual Harassment can be written, verbal, visual, and nonverbal.
-The harasser’s conduct must be unwelcome.
It is helpful for the victim to directly inform the harasser that the conduct is unwelcome and must stop. The victim should use any employer complaint mechanism or grievance system available.
The U.S. Supreme Court has simplified matters somewhat by explaining that there are two basic types of unlawful sexual harassment. The first type involves harassment that results in a tangible employment action. An example would be a supervisor who tells a subordinate that he or she must be sexually cooperative with the supervisor or he or she will be fired, and who then indeed does fire the subordinate for not submitting. The imposition of this crude “put out or get out” bargain is often referred to as quid pro quo (”this for that”). This kind of unlawful sexual harassment can be committed only by someone who can make or effectively influence employment actions (such as firing, demotion, and denial of promotion) that will affect the victimized employee.
A second type of unlawful sexual harassment is referred to as hostile environment. Unlike a quid pro quo, which only a supervisor can impose, a hostile environment can result from the gender-based unwelcome conduct of supervisors, co-workers, customers, vendors, or anyone else with whom the victimized employee Interacts .on the job.
The behaviors that have contributed to a hostile environment have included:
-unfulfilled threats to impose a sexual quid pro quo.
-discussing sexual activities;
-telling off-color jokes;
-using crude and offensive language;
-commenting on physical attributes;
-displaying sexually suggestive pictures;
-using demeaning or inappropriate terms, such as “Babe”;
-using indecent gestures;
-sabotaging the victim’s work;
-engaging in hostile physical conduct;
-granting job favors to those who participate in consensual sexual activity;
Have you or someone you know fallen victim to sexual harassment? If so, contact one of our
sexual harassment lawyers in your area today!