What Constitutes Workplace Sexual Harassment? Our Employment Lawyer in Lehigh Valley, PA Explains
We spend a lot of time at work. For most of us, it is five days a week and eight hours a day. Work is supposed to be a productive but challenging environment. It is also supposed to be a safe place that is free of harassment in any form. While most places of employment are safe, unfortunately, some are not. Workplace sexual harassment in Lehigh Valley, PA and the rest of the United States is still a problem. According to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), there are roughly 7,500 charges filed alleging sex-based harassment each year. This equates to over 20 claims every day. If you are one of those 20 claims today, call the employment lawyers at Saffren & Weinberg for help.
We have recovered millions of dollars for our clients who have been injured by the conduct of another. If you believe you may have been the victim of workplace sexual harassment in Lehigh Valley, PA, our compassionate team offers a FREE consultation to hear your side of the story and evaluate whether you have a claim.
Our employment attorneys at Saffren & Weinberg know that this can be a confusing and frustrating time for you and your family. This is why we can help guide you through every step of the process, including the following:
• Filling a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)
• Filing a complaint with the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission (PHRC)
• Locate victim resources in your county
• Draft settlement demands against the defendant(s)
• Commence litigation to protect your rights
• Handle your case from commencement through discovery, motions, trial, and appeals
• Protect your right to enforce your judgment, and
• Any other steps to help you under Pennsylvania and federal law.
What is Workplace Sexual Harassment?
Most individuals do not realize what sexual harassment is until they are a victim. They may even be surprised at how broad of a definition it is under the law. The reason for this is to afford greater protections for a victim—especially in a workplace. Thus, despite what a supervisor may say about your complaints, Pennsylvania law is tailored to shielding you from this type of inappropriate conduct in the workplace.
Sexual harassment is defined as any unwanted conduct (verbal, visual, or physical) directed at a person due to their gender. This includes any unwelcome sexual advances, requests for favors, or any conduct that is of a sexual nature. Sexual harassment can even be related to job performance or advancement, such as requiring favors for a day off or promotion. Other times this form of harassment affects or interferes with a worker’s ability to perform his or her job obligations.
Types of Workplace Sexual Harassment
There are generally two types:
1. Quid Pro Quo – this is when an employer or supervisor makes hiring, promotion, vacation schedules, and other employment-related decisions based on sexual favors or conduct. It is essentially trading job opportunities and tasks for sexual favors.
Example: Your supervisor will not approve your vacation time off request until you go on a date with him/her.
2. Hostile Work Environment – this occurs when an employee is forced to work in an abusive, offensive, and inappropriate environment or workplace. This is measured objectively, meaning the average person must also find the abusive conduct to be so severe that it would affect them too while at work.
Example: Coworkers making crude jokes, discussing sex acts, or displaying sexually inappropriate photographs to you on a repeated basis over a period of time. The employer or supervisor refuses to investigate or take action. Sometimes the employer or supervisor may be in on the misconduct, even encouraging it.
Ask Saffren & Weinberg For Help
If you believe that you have been the victim of workplace sexual harassment in Lehigh Valley, PA, your time to file a claim is limited by the law. Do not delay, start today with our compassionate and experienced employment attorneys by calling (215) 576-0100 for a FREE case evaluation. You may also send us a message through our convenient and easy-to-use “contact us” box available here. We stand committed to justice.