SEXUAL HARASSMENT CAUSES REAL EMOTIONAL AND PSYCHOLOGICAL DAMAGE
A single comment, grope or inappropriate email probably isn’t enough for a lawsuit, but it’s worth reporting to your employer. While the courts say that sexual harassment has to be so severe or so pervasive (meaning frequent) that it alters the terms and conditions of your employment, sexual harassment is a form of prohibited discrimination:
- Employers may not condition favorable job treatment on sexual favors.
- Supervisors or co-workers may not create a hostile work environment through inappropriate touching or offensive or suggestive language.
There’s a federal law in place, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and it applies to U.S. employers with 15 or more employees. That law also applies to employment agencies, labor organizations, and to the federal government itself. Sexual harassment is a form of sex discrimination that violates that law. Harassment includes:
- unwelcome sexual advance
- requests for sexual favors
- verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature
Unwelcome advances can interfere with an individual’s work performance and create an offensive and intimidating work environment. In fact, the victims may include not only the person harassed, but anyone else affected by the offensive conduct, even if there has been no economic injury or firing of the victim.
And sexual harassment is hardly “lower class”. A recent issue of financial-planning.com discussed a study done on the impact and implications of sexual harassment across professional communities, including banking, mortgages, financial advisory, accounting, health care, and employee benefits. The prevalence of sexual harassment was found to be greatest in four areas: wealth management, insurance, higher education, and consulting/professional services!
As personal injury attorneys in Indiana, we explain to clients that (as legalmatch.com ephasizes), “even though any kind of sexual assault incident can give rise to a criminal prosecution — which can result in jail time, fines, probation, and other sanctions against the defendant if a conviction is obtained — a civil lawsuit is usually the only way that a sexual assault victim can get monetary compensation for harm suffered.”
Sexual harassment victims may be able receive compensatory and punitive damages, as well as attorneys’ fees and costs required to file the suit. Damages may include:
- Lost wages
- Loss of employment ability
- Medical expenses
- Economic misfortune
In addition to all these things, as a husband-wife team at Ramey & Hailey Law, we want to reach out to folks who know they need to speak out, who need to talk about what happened to them or to someone they love. The emotional and psychological damages caused by sexual harassment are very real, and our dedication is to become the voice for victims brave enough to help prevent this sort of crime from happening to others.