Do You Need a Kansas City Sexual Harassment Lawyer?
Sexual harassment is unwelcome behavior that occurs because of your gender. This can include unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, or verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature.
When submitting to or rejecting this conduct is made a basis for employment decisions, it is in your best interest to contact our sexual harassment lawyers in Kansas City immediately. Even if there is no employment decision involved, there may still be grounds for a suit if the conduct is sufficiently severe or pervasive that it creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive work environment. Our sexual harassment attorney in Kansas City at Holman Schiavone can help.
Do You Need a Kansas City Sexual Harassment Lawyer?
Sexual harassment, regardless of where it happens, is a serious matter. If you believe you have been the victim of sexual harassment at work, school, or in any other situation, it’s in your best interest to contact a Kansas City sexual harassment lawyer to discuss the details of your case and find a solution. All too often, sexual harassment claims go unpunished. Although it takes courage to come forward, an experienced sexual harassment lawyer can help.
What Is Considered Sexual Harassment in Kansas City, Missouri?
Kansas City sexual harassment laws include a broad range of actions. Sexual harassment can be verbal if someone makes comments of a sexual nature that make you feel uncomfortable. This includes text messages as well. Physical conduct, even if it does not involve touching you directly, can also constitute sexual harassment. In more extreme cases, someone may try to request sex in exchange for keeping your job or make other unwanted sexual advances.
All of these situations can be considered sexual harassment. Lawyers for sexual harassment can help you to file a sexual harassment claim if you believe you have been sexually harassed in any of these ways. Consider some common examples to better understand what kinds of misconduct can be considered in a sexual harassment suit in the Kansas City area.
What Is Considered Sexual Harassment at Work?
It is important to understand what sexual harassment is. Sexual harassment is any unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, or other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature. This can include things like sexual jokes, comments about your appearance, or unwanted touching. If you are being harassed, it is important to speak up and let the harasser know that their behavior is unwelcome and makes you feel uncomfortable. You should also document the incidents of harassment, including when and where they occurred, who was present, and what was said or done.
Asking for Sexual Favors
One of the most egregious offenses is asking for sexual favors. A sexual favor is defined as a request for sex in exchange for something else. This most commonly occurs in a work environment. An employer may suggest that in order to keep your job, you have to perform some kind of sexual favor. This is gender-based harassment and a form of sex discrimination and is completely illegal.
A sexual favor is not limited to requesting sexual intercourse or other sexual acts. Asking someone to send sexual photos or to engage in sexting would also qualify. While these actions usually occur in the workplace, they can also happen in other contexts. For example, clients have been propositioned with sexual favors in exchange for free services. This is also illegal.
Unwelcome Sexual Advances
Sexual advances differ from favors in that they do not necessarily imply an exchange of any sort. Perhaps a superior or even a co-worker in the company has made comments of a sexual nature to you. Remarks about your body or propositions that imply an interest in sexual conduct are off-limits in the workplace.
Unwelcome sexual propositions become a serious offense when there is a pattern of conduct. A single suggestive remark should be reported to human resources immediately. If the pattern of conduct continues and your employer does nothing about it, there is just cause to file a lawsuit against the company or individual involved.
Inappropriate Sexual Comments That Make You Feel Uncomfortable
Comments that are not directed at you specifically can still constitute sexual harassment under certain circumstances. For example, if a boss makes frequent sexual jokes about women, even if they aren’t targeted at any particular woman, then this may be considered a form of discrimination. Understandably, when superiors are involved, many victims are hesitant to report this misconduct. However, you should not be treated differently because of your sex.
These inappropriate remarks should also be reported to HR or your immediate supervisor for investigation. If the conduct continues, there may be grounds for a lawsuit.
Does Sexual Harassment From Co-Workers Count?
Many people wonder if sexual harassment needs to be committed by a superior in the workplace. Naturally, supervisors and managers are to be held to a higher standard because of the power differential between them and the victim. A victim may feel coerced to tolerate or comply with inappropriate sexual conduct out of fear of losing their job. However, a co-worker does not have that same power.
Nevertheless, the law regarding sexual harassment continues to apply to co-workers. If a co-worker has sexually harassed you, it should be reported right away. If the co-worker in question continues to act inappropriately, your employer could be held liable for failing to intervene.
Does the Gender of the Other Person Matter?
Another common misconception regarding sexual harassment is that it can only happen to women by men. However, the law treats all individuals equally. A woman can sexually harass a man, and there are even cases of same-gender harassment. Gender is irrelevant when discrimination is involved.
Steps You Should Take if You Are the Target of Sexual Harassment at Work in Kansas City
If you believe that you are being sexually harassed, there are steps you should take immediately:
- Make it clear to the harasser that his or her behavior is unwelcome.
- Inform your employer of the situation, preferably in writing, and let them know how you want it addressed.
- Keep a journal of each incident of harassment and obtain copies of your own work performance and records.
- Save any relevant emails, text messages, or chat conversations and take screenshots of any comments made online.
- If there are witnesses to the harassment, be sure to get their contact information as well.
- If the harassment persists or action is not taken, consult with a sexual harassment attorney in Kansas City to understand what your options are and whether you have a case.
- If you decide to pursue a claim, you should file a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) or the Missouri Commission on Human Rights
By taking these steps, you can help ensure that you are protected from sexual harassment at work in Kansas City. Also, try to follow whatever harassment policy your employer provides as closely as possible.
Gender-Based Harassment at Work
It is also possible to suffer illegal, sex-based harassment that is not sexual. This is known as gender-based harassment. One form of gender-based harassment would be attacks from a supervisor directed toward women or the use of gender-specific slurs or offensive terms.
The perpetrator of gender-based harassment can be a member of the same gender as the victim. The issue is whether the harassment occurred because of your gender.
What Happens if I Was Passed Over for a Promotion Based On My Gender?
If you believe that you were passed over for a promotion based on your gender, you may have a claim for discrimination. The best way to determine whether you have a claim is to speak with an experienced discrimination and sexual harassment attorney in Kansas City.
There are a variety of laws that protect employees from discrimination, including the Equal Pay Act, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, and the Missouri Human Rights Act. If you can prove that you were passed over for a promotion because of your gender, you may be entitled to compensation for lost wages and benefits, as well as punitive damages. You may also be able to recover attorneys’ fees and costs.
If you think you may have a claim, don’t delay in speaking with a discrimination attorney in Kansas City. There are strict deadlines for filing discrimination claims. Experienced sexual harassment lawyers in Kansas City can help you understand your rights and options and make sure that your claim is filed on time.
Is There a Difference Between Sexual Discrimination and Sexual Harassment?
Our Kansas City sexual harassment lawyers understand the complexity of distinguishing between discrimination and harassment in the workplace. Although both involve unfair or damaging treatment targeted towards an individual with regard to their sex, gender, or sexual orientation, discriminating based on these characteristics does not always constitute harassment. Discrimination is the act of preferential or prejudicial treatment of an employee that is not merited and cannot be legally allowed. On the other hand, our sexual harassment lawyers in Kansas City know that workplace sexual harassment goes beyond just discriminatory practices; it constitutes a severe violation of employee rights that has detrimental effects on all involved. In order to ensure compliance with Kansas and Missouri laws regarding these matters, it is important to understand the difference between discrimination and harassment in the workplace.
Can I Obtain Compensation for Sexual Harassment at Work?
In Kansas City, sexual harassment on the job is illegal and individuals who have experienced it are entitled to full compensation for their mistreatment. A sexual harassment lawyer in Kansas City can help you navigate the process of filing a claim, ensuring that any financial losses incurred from lost wages, pain, suffering, and other damages are fully accounted for. Both Kansas and Missouri laws provide robust protections for employees facing this type of harassment, although all cases are different depending on your workplace dynamics and situation. Contacting an experienced sexual harassment lawyer in Kansas City can help you gain back your peace of mind as soon as possible.
What Legal Rights Do I Have as a Victim of Sexual Harassment?
State and federal laws define and condemn discrimination across the United States. Federal law applies to all states, while Missouri state law applies specifically to Kansas City. An experienced sexual harassment attorney can help Kansas City clients to understand which laws specifically apply to their case. However, there are two main laws that govern sexual harassment.
The main state law is the Missouri Human Rights Act. This law defines various types of discrimination, which include sexual harassment. The primary federal law that also applies to Kansas City is the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
The Missouri Human Rights Act Prevents Discriminatory Practices Based on Sex
The MHRA is predominantly an employment law that prohibits many forms of discrimination in a work environment. Many sexual harassment attorneys have used this law to file suit against an employer for violations. It prohibits discrimination based on everything from religion to age, and also includes sex. In addition, harassment on any of these grounds is also prohibited.
This employment law also requires companies to inform you of your rights. In many cases, this information can be found in your employee handbook. Employers are not allowed to retaliate against someone for filing a sexual harassment complaint to the Missouri Department of Labor. Speak to a Kansas City sexual harassment attorney to learn more about how this law may apply to your case.
Federal Laws: Title VII Protections
The Civil Rights Act of 1964 created protected classes of citizens. Discrimination or misconduct against any of these classes is considered a federal offense. Although this law is best known for prohibiting racial discrimination, it also includes gender-based harassment and many other legal issues.
Although this law applies to all states, most sexual harassment lawyers will focus on state laws first. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission oversees the enforcement of this law, which applies to all federal employees or businesses with more than 15 employees.
What Legal Action Can I Take?
Without a lawyer for harassment, you can file a complaint with either the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission or the Missouri Commission which oversees the MHRA. However, you may find that you are unable to stop sexual harassment with a complaint alone. An experienced sexual harassment attorney can bring your case to court with a lawsuit and have a much greater impact.
In addition, you may be able to file a personal injury lawsuit and seek compensation for damages if you have been financially or physically affected by sexual harassment. Attorneys in Kansas City can help you to prepare these documents properly and file suit on time.
How Can A Kansas City Sexual Harassment Attorney Help?
If you want to seek compensation and demand justice for not just yourself, but anyone else who might find themselves a victim of sexual harassment in the workplace, you will need the aid of a sexual harassment attorney, preferably one that is familiar with Kansas City law. Here’s what a lawyer can do for you.
Kansas City Sexual Harassment Attorneys Help You Build a Case
Your case of sexual harassment needs to be clearly explained to your attorneys. Even though the experiences may be difficult to discuss, a sexual harassment attorney has experience with these legal issues and will ensure full confidentiality. A good lawyer will always listen to their clients and respect their stories. After hearing the details, your attorney for harassment may ask for more information.
Documenting Sexual Harassment Cases
Legal claims in court are won with documentation. If you filed any complaints, whether to the state or to your employer, you should bring copies to the law firm when you first visit. If you received inappropriate phone calls, text messages, or emails, bring copies of phone records or the conversations in question.
Law firm attorneys can also subpoena documents from employers if you cannot access them or your employer refuses to provide information.
Sexual Harassment Lawyers Know the Kansas City Missouri Legal System
Even with a solid case, the court system is complex. Kansas City attorneys know Kansas City courts and Missouri state laws. They can help you navigate the system efficiently and seek a settlement faster.
Filing a Sexual Harassment Lawsuit
Your sexual harassment civil suit will be filed in a Kansas City Missouri court. It’s important to file in the correct one. Your Kansas City lawyer will tell you where your lawsuit will be filed. The company or person named will have thirty days for their attorneys to respond. If you receive a settlement offer, your lawyer will inform you, or they can negotiate with the other party’s attorneys to try to get you a better deal.
If no agreement can be reached, you could also take your case to trial. Due to the backlog of cases in Kansas City, this could add several months or even a year to the duration of the case.
How Do You Find the Best Sexual Harassment Attorney in Kansas City?
Finding a Kansas City sexual harassment lawyer doesn’t have to be overwhelming. When seeking an attorney for sexual harassment claims, it is important to choose someone who has experience in the area of employment law. An experienced Kansas City sexual harassment attorney should have a comprehensive understanding of the legal framework that governs such a claim and the ability to provide counsel on the broad range of issues related to filing a court complaint or engaging in other legal proceedings related to workplace injustice. Additionally, they should be able to advise on the various paths available to claimants, ensuring solid outcomes and the best possible remedies. Researching attorneys through references and reviews is key in finding an informed sexual harassment lawyer in Kansas City.
How to Find a Kansas City Missouri Law Firm With Experienced Sexual Harassment Lawyers
If you are looking for a law firm in Kansas City to help with a sexual harassment case, there are a few things to consider. While many lawyers may offer to take your case, perhaps without charge, you should choose wisely.
Look for a Law Firm That Offers a Free Consultation
Clients shouldn’t have to spend money just to have the opportunity to be heard. Look for a law firm that offers a free meeting so that you can share your story with a lawyer. A Kansas City attorney can freely recommend whether you should pursue a case or not.
Look for Experience in Related Practice Areas
Sexual harassment falls squarely into employment law and personal injury law. In many cases, there is a combination of both. Look for law firms that have experience in these areas in Kansas City for the best results.
Get a Free Initial Consultation With a Discrimination & Sexual Harassment Attorney in Kansas City
At Holman Schiavone, LLC, our sexual harassment lawyers in Kansas City are ready to assist you with your sexual harassment complaint. Our staff can help you work through your employer’s harassment policy and advise you on how to best lay the groundwork for a lawsuit, if necessary.