While sexual harassment in the workplace has been an issue for decades – if not longer – it was not until the past several years ago, when the #metoo movement gained momentum, and the issue came to the forefront of discussion for many Americans. If you believe you have been a victim of sexual harassment at work, an employment lawyer in El Paso, TX can help.
The national statistics for workplace sexual harassment are alarming. Just under 70 percent of women in the workforce have experienced some form of sexual harassment in a professional setting. It is estimated that 72 percent of those victims were harassed by someone in a more senior position at the company. More than 55 percent of victims end up leaving their job because of harassment from their supervisor or manager, and more than 70 percent of victims never report the harassment.
Types of Sexual Harassment
As an El Paso employment lawyer can explain, the federal government defines sexual harassment in the workplace as any unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, or other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature under one or more of the following circumstances, either explicitly or implicitly:
· The perpetrator makes it clear to the victims that submitting to the conduct is a condition of their job.
· The perpetrator makes it clear to the victim that rejecting of the advances or behavior will affect their employment
· The perpetrator’s goal is to create a hostile, intimidating, or offensive work environment and/or to interfere with the victim’s work performance.
Sexual harassment in the workplace in take on several forms:
· The perpetrator makes unwelcomed and inappropriate advances. There are often phone calls, text messages, emails, gifts, requests for dates, and sexual invitations.
· The perpetrator tells the victim – either subtly or blatantly – that if they have sex with them, they will be rewarded in their job.
· The perpetrator tells the victim if they do not have sex with them, it will affect their job, including receiving poor evaluations, no pay raise, no promotions, or even lose their job.
· The perpetrator forces themselves on the victim through feeling, touching, grabbing, or sexual assault.
Other types of sexual harassment involve making comments that put down or are degrading to one gender, sexist comments, telling inappropriate jokes, sending obscene photos, graffiti, etc.
It is important to realize that anyone can be a victim of workplace sexual harassment, regardless of their gender, age, or sexual orientation. Multiple studies have also shown that it makes no difference how a victim acts, dresses, or what they look like – anyone can be victimized by a sexual harassment abuse.
Let a Lawyer Help
If you or a loved one has been a victim of workplace sexual harassment, an El Paso employment lawyer such as Davie & Valdez, P.C., can help you take the appropriate legal steps to make the harassment stop, as well as any other legal action you may be entitled to take against your employer under the law.