Frequently Asked Questions About Sexual Harassment
At the law firm of Neaton & Puklich, P.L.L.P., we assist employees in the Twin Cities who have been subjected to sexual harassment in the workplace. If you have been a target of unwanted advancement or other forms of sexual harassment, then it is in your best interests to understand your legal rights. Here are brief answers to some frequently asked questions.
What is considered sexual harassment at work?
Workplace sexual harassment can be in the form of unwelcome sexual innuendos from co-workers or your boss, offensive posters in the break room, unwelcome touching or sexual gestures, or expectations of sexual conduct so you can keep your job. It can include other types of intimidating or offensive behavior that makes it difficult for you to perform the tasks you are employed to complete at work, such as:
- Sexual favors in exchange for career advancement or financial incentives
- Sexual favors in exchange for not being terminated or laid off
- Unwanted sexual jokes, gestures or other comments
- Unwanted touching or physical advancements
- Presentation of sexually suggestive materials
- Repeated unwanted requests for dates or sexual liberties
Our attorneys are skilled trial advocates with experience representing employers as well as employees. Because of this, they understand the issues that are at stake from both perspectives, which aids them in presenting effective arguments on behalf of the sexual harassment victims that our lawyers represent.
What should an employee do if they experience sexual harassment at work?
If you experience sexual harassment at work, then you can request that it stop at once. You can make a verbal request or a written one. If the perpetrator continues their offensive actions, then you can take the situation to your manager or another person higher up the chain of command. Your company policy handbook may have a protocol to follow. Write down the dates and the actions you took to attempt to stop the behavior. If it does not end, you may file a report with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) to conduct an investigation. Before filing, you will want to have a copy of your personnel file on hand and speak to an experienced sexual harassment attorney.
How do you know if you need to hire a sexual harassment lawyer?
There are federal and state laws protecting workers from all forms of sexual harassment, from quid pro quo to hostile work environments. It can be traumatizing to experience sexual harassment at work. Situations of quid pro quo harassment – where your boss makes it clear that you need to tolerate any form of sexual harassment or lose your job or an employment benefit – can be terrifying. If you work in ongoing circumstances of offensive behavior by your boss or co-workers, even after asking them to stop, proving that their actions were abusive or hostile can be difficult on your own. Meeting with an experienced sexual harassment attorney can empower you to make the decisions you need to make to protect your rights to be free of the hostile work environment. A lawyer can help you enforce your rights and hold your employer liable for their egregious behavior.
What is the role of a sexual harassment attorney?
A sexual harassment attorney will listen to your story and help you have a strong voice to confront your employer and put an end to the sexual harassment or hostile work environment. Gathering the objective evidence to meet the legal definition of sexual harassment can be difficult on your own. Your lawyer can help you investigate, speak to witnesses, gather the necessary evidence, prepare a case to litigate in court if your employer is unwilling to negotiate, and take the necessary steps to restore the environment at your job. Sexual harassment attorneys can be helpful in helping employers establish workplace policies to prevent further offensive behavior at job sites.
What kind of compensation can you expect to receive if you win a sexual harassment case?
The nature of compensation for sexual harassment cases varies widely from case to case. You could get compensation for your losses, including:
- Lost wages or income
- Medical expenses
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Mental anguish
Federal law limits the compensatory dollar figure based on the number of workers a company employs. For example, the following limits apply:
- 15 to100 workers: Up to $50,000
- 101 to 200 workers: Up to $100,000
- 201 to 500 workers: Up to $200,000
- More than 500 workers: Up to $300,000
Federal limitations are only part of the equation, so it is vital to speak with a sexual harassment lawyer to learn about the full scope of your rights under state and federal laws. Our attorneys combine decades of experience and provide tenacious representation to the victims of sexual harassment. Call 952-314-5779 or toll-free at 877-813-4764 for a free initial consultation to learn more.
Free Initial Consultation | Contact Neaton & Puklich, P.L.L.P.
Our lawyers are selective about the sexual harassment cases they pursue, ensuring that each client receives their full attention and support. From identifying whether you have a claim to fighting for your rights in court, our team will work to protect your interests every step of the way. Contact us today to arrange a free initial consultation with our Minneapolis sexual harassment attorneys.