If you have been putting up with unwanted sexual conduct on the job like dirty jokes, sexual banter, pornography, or propositions, you may be a victim of sexual harassment. However, just because a colleague or employer makes a sexual comment does not mean you can legally claim for sexual harassment.
Read on to know how the law defines sexual harassment and what to do if you are facing it at work:
Definition of Sexual Harassment
Sexual harassment is defined as any unwelcome sexual conduct, requests, or advances for sexual favors that lead to a negative job outcome or create a hostile work environment. Sexual harassment can be experienced by both men and women at work. Anyone, including the company owner, can commit sexual harassment.
The majority of states and many local governments have passed laws that prohibit sex discrimination and sexual harassment. A number of these laws are even applicable to smaller employers.
Determining an Unwelcome Conduct
Sexual harassment can be proven by showing that you didn’t welcome the sexual conduct or comment you were subjected to. In a lot of harassment cases, unwelcome conduct is not disputed. Conduct such as physical groping, giving sexually belittling comments, or threatening with assault is clearly unwelcome. But, in some cases, the perpetrator will claim they do know the victim found his conduct upsetting. In this case, the victim should clearly state that they do not like the behavior of the perpetrator and ask them to stop.
How a Lawyer can Help
If you face sexual harassment at work, you may not know what exactly to do. Even if you have such experience, you may have to take some steps to protect your rights. For instance, you may be required to report the incident to human resources or managerial employees to hold the perpetrator responsible for their actions. Sexual harassment attorneys in Chicago will help you determine the right HR or other employees to who you must report the harassment. Also, they will work with you in outlining your description of the conduct. Your attorney will tell you what other steps you must take protect yourself. These may include documenting the harassment and any discussions that have taken place with your employer, giving you advice on how to report future harassment to your employer, and preparing you to deal with the perpetrator in case the conduct continues. In case your employer retaliates against your report, your lawyer will describe measures you can take to challenge it.