Our attorneys understand that sexual harassment is a serious issue that can be extremely damaging, both on psychological and physiological levels. It can occur in any setting, including the workplace, a school, a church, or another kind of institution. The definition of sexual harassment broadly encompasses a range of unacceptable behaviors. Speaking with a sexual harassment lawyer in Jackson County, Missouri can help you understand what constitutes sexual harassment and how to address it.
What Does Sexual Harassment Look Like?
Sexual harassment includes any unwanted advances, acts, comments, discussions, or images of a sexual nature. Sometimes, sexual harassment occurs at the hands of one individual, such as a manager or a co-worker, but it can also permeate an environment. In some cases, one individual is targeted, while in other cases a whole group of people are affected. Examples of sexual harassment include:
- Requests for sexual favors
- Sexual jokes
- Recounting past sexual experiences or sharing fantasies aloud
- Unwanted physical contact
- Exposing oneself or performing sexual acts in front of another individual
- Sending sexually implicit emails or texts
- Showing sexual images
Sexual Harassment in the Workplace
When sexual harassment occurs in the workplace, it is often associated with hiring practices or opportunities for a promotion. Making a job offer or an advancement contingent on performing sexual acts, either implicitly or explicitly, is illegal. In other cases, sexual harassment constitutes a form of discrimination. Using sexual comments, jokes, or teasing to make the workplace a hostile environment violates everyone’s right to work in a safe place.
If you experienced sexual harassment in the workplace, you could have grounds to hold your employer legally accountable for the damages you experienced.
Some individuals are afraid to pursue compensation because they don’t want to trigger adverse actions against them. You should know that firing, demoting, or punishing an employee who reports sexual harassment is a form of employer retaliation and can warrant its own personal injury claim.
What to Do If You Are Experiencing Sexual Harassment in the Workplace
We offer compassionate legal support to individuals who have experienced sexual harassment, whether their claim involves discrimination, sexually contingent hiring practices, employer retaliation, or another form of misconduct. If you are experiencing sexual harassment in the workplace, taking these actions will help move your claim forward:
Report the Incident to HR
The first step in dealing with sexual harassment is to report the issue to your employer in writing. Provide details on when and how the inappropriate behavior occurred and who was involved. Explicitly state that you would like the incident to be addressed.
Keep a Journal
Each time any sexually inappropriate behavior occurs, note the date and describe the incident. You and your lawyer can refer to the journal when you are writing up your claim and compiling evidence to support your case. The details you include will help determine the value of your claim and which kinds of damages you could be eligible for.
Save All Correspondence Relating to the Issue
If the harassment you experienced involved any unwanted emails, texts, or messages, be sure to save them as evidence. You may need to take screenshots on your phone or computer to prevent some images and correspondence from disappearing or being deleted. You should also keep any exchanges that occur between you and your employer when and after you report the incidents, as well as your employment records.
Get Contact Information From Any Witnesses
If anyone from inside or outside the organization witnessed the sexual harassment taking place, their testimony can provide evidence for your case. You should ask them for their contact information, including their phone number and email address.
Report the Incident
If the issue is not addressed and resolved by your employer, you may decide to file a claim. Claims involving sexual harassment necessitate an official investigation, and reporting the incidents to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission or the Missouri Commission on Human Rights will set that process in motion. Your lawyer can then use the findings of the investigation when helping you pursue compensation for your damages.
Contact a Sexual Harassment Lawyer in Jackson County, Missouri
Working with an attorney who specializes in employment law, discrimination, and sexual misconduct can give you the legal support you need to hold your employer fully accountable for failing to provide a safe work environment. A qualified sexual harassment lawyer should understand the challenging nature of sexual harassment cases and approach pursuing full compensation with compassion and professionalism.
What Is the Difference Between Sexual Harassment and Sexual Abuse?
What Is Sexual Abuse?
Before you pursue your claim, it is important to understand whether the behavior you are dealing with legally constitutes sexual abuse. While sexual harassment can incur a civil suit, especially in a work environment, sexual abuse has criminal implications, as well. Examples of sexual abuse include molestation and rape. Our attorneys handle both sexual harassment and sexual abuse cases.
What Are the Effects of Sexual Abuse?
Sexual abuse can have long-lasting effects on the victim, significantly disrupting his or her life. Psychological effects include depression, stress, anxiety, self-esteem issues, and eating disorders. These symptoms may manifest physiologically as fatigue, headaches, and/or other health issues. In the case of violent sexual assault, immediate medical care may be necessary. After any type of sexual abuse, ongoing treatments and counseling are usually recommended to facilitate recovery.
How Can You Address Sexual Abuse?
If you experienced sexual abuse in a school, a religious setting, or at another type of institution, you may be able to press charges against the organization. By filing a personal injury claim, you may be eligible to recover a variety of damages, including emotional distress, pain and suffering, the cost of your counseling, and any medical expenses you may have incurred.
If the incident occurred in the workplace or a public venue, your lawyer may be able to argue that appropriate security measures were not taken. Your lawyer can help you identify which party to file the claim against and what grounds you can cite. In some cases, you may have the opportunity to file multiple claims.
Speak With Our Lawyers
We offer free consultations in Jackson County, Missouri. The purpose of the consultation is to get an idea of what evidence can serve in your favor and how to best pursue your claim.
We have taken great care to make our firm a safe space where you can feel comfortable discussing the details of your incident. Anything you tell us is strictly confidential and will only be used to serve your interests. Our attorneys firmly believe that sexual harassment is unacceptable, and we will fight to get you the compensation you deserve.
We Take Sexual Harassment Seriously
Sexual harassment is a human rights issue that needs to be addressed in a legal context. Our attorneys have a strong track record of representing clients who have experienced both sexual harassment and sexual abuse in a variety of settings, including the workplace. Many individuals find that taking legal action against sexual harassment is a powerful way to make the workplace safer and get a sense of closure. To discuss your case with us, contact Holman Schiavone, LLC.