Sexual Harassment


Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, which was signed into law in 1964, prohibits an employer from sexually harassing an employee in the workplaces.

According to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission sexual harassment occurs “when submission to or rejection of this conduct explicitly or implicitly affects an individual’s employment, unreasonably interferes with an individual’s work performance or creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive work environment.”

Sexual harassment can take on many different forms.  From sexually explicit emails, voice and text messages to physical contact such as rubbing someone’s back or grabbing an employee around the waist or interfering with the employee’s ability to move around.

What to do if you are being sexually harassed at work:

  • First and foremost tell the harasser, in no uncertain terms, that his advances and behavior is unwelcome and must stop.
  • Report the harassment to your employer.  The law provides that your employer must have an opportunity to stop the harassment.  If they do not know about it they can’t do anything about.

If the harassment continues after it is reported it is important to:

  • Discuss the harassment with friends and family members.
  • Discuss the harassment with your doctor.
  • If your fellow employees are witness to the harassment ask them for written statements.  Be prepared that some employees may not want to get involved.
  • Keep a diary of the harassment. Record who said it, what was said and when it was said.
  • Unwanted physical contact such as kissing or groping is sexual assault.  Contact the local authorities to report the attack.

These offenses are not about sex. They are about power. Typically, such behavior is designed to humiliate and control. It is not your fault. It is normal to feel embarrassed and angry by unwanted, unflattering attention or demands. Often, sexual harassers think that they will be protected by your normal reactions. Usually, they think you will remain quiet to avoid embarrassment or to protect your job.

We recognize how distressing it is for victims to discuss their situation with anyone, especially an attorney. However, from a practical standpoint, if you believe that you have been a victim of of these acts and want to seek legal redress against your harasser(s), you need to take the first step by contacting a qualified discrimination attorney experienced in Sexual harassment law.

Contact an experienced sexual harassment lawyer to discuss your situation.