Addressing Sexual Harassment
Sexual harassment is a form of sex discrimination that violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Title VII applies to employers with 15 or more employees, including state and local governments. It also applies to workplace employment agencies and to labor organizations, as well as to the federal government.
Unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature or behavior constitute sexual harassment when this conduct explicitly or implicitly affects an individual’s employment, unreasonably interferes with an individual’s work performance, or creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive work environment.
Sexual harassment can occur in a variety of workplace circumstances, including but not limited to the following:
- The victim as well as the harasser may be a woman or a man. The victim of sexual harassment does not have to be of the opposite sex or gender.
- The harasser can be the victim’s workplace supervisor, an agent of the employer, a supervisor in another area, a co-worker, or a non-employee.
- The victim does not have to be the person harassed but could be anyone affected by the offensive behavior.
- Unlawful sexual harassment may occur without economic injury to or discharge of the victim.
- The harasser’s behavior must be unwelcome.
It is helpful for the victim to inform the harasser directly that the sexual harassment is unwelcome and must stop. The victim should use any workplace complaint mechanism or grievance system available to report the behavior. Your workplace must make a lawful attempt to solve the problem to avoid liability. However, if the inappropriate behavior continues, you have 180 days to file a claim with the S.C. Human Affairs Commission or the U.S. Equal Opportunity Employment Commission. That sexual harassments filing deadline is extended to 300 calendar days if a state or local agency enforces a law that prohibits employment discrimination on the same basis. It is important to meet these deadlines because no lawsuit can move forward until you have filed a formal complaint for sexual harassment in your workplace. Once you filed your legal discrimination claim in South Carolina, you can work with a sexual harassment lawyer on your workplace case.
It is also unlawful to retaliate against an individual for opposing employment practices that discriminate based on sex or for filing a discrimination charge, testifying, or participating in any way in an investigation, legal proceeding, or litigation under Title VII.
Types of Workplace Sexual Harassment in South Carolina
As experienced sexual harassment lawyers in South Carolina, we often find that employees may not always recognize behavior within the workplace that contravenes their legal right to work in a setting that is non-discriminatory, respectful, and safe. While physical, sexual assault is one of the most traumatic experiences and results in prosecution, formal complaints, and legal action, sexual harassment takes many forms.
If you are concerned about sexual behavior in the workplace, have been a victim of harassment and unwanted approaches, or are unsure whether you have a harassment case, our skilled harassment lawyers will be happy to consult with you sensitively and respectfully to ensure your legal rights are upheld.
We appreciate that discussing workplace harassment can feel challenging, and we ensure all clients are supported by a sexual harassment attorney from their first consultation and throughout the entire case process.
Discriminatory Sexual Harassment in the Workplace
Actions that are intended to discriminate against a person for any reason, such as based on their gender, religion, ethnicity, age, or sexual orientation, may be categorized as discriminatory harassment, where an employee is singled out and treated differently in the workplace. Sexual harassment refers specifically to when employees are faced with sexual advances and inappropriate behavior from someone in their workplace.
Filing a Verbal or Digital Harassment Case with the Help of Lawyers
As noted above, sexual harassment in the workplace is not always physical behavior, and unpleasant, cruel, aggressive, or threatening remarks, whether made publicly or privately, may constitute harassment–particularly where the harasser is in a position of authority or power. Online sexual harassment is equally serious and refers to conduct through any digital medium that is offensive, upsetting, or derogatory.
Seeking Help From a Sexual Harassment Lawyer Following Personal or Physical Harassment
Personal sexual harassment can be perceived as bullying and intimidation, whether through inappropriate actions, gestures, or comments or through the belittlement a colleague, visitor, or employee. Physical harassment extends into the threat or intimation of making unwanted sexual advances or any touching that is inappropriate and causes harm and discomfort to the harassment victim. When this type of sexual harassment happens in you South Carolina workplace, you can file a case with the help of a sexual harassment attorney.
How Can a Sexual Harassment Attorney Assist With a Workplace Harassment Claim?
Our sexual harassment attorneys are well-versed in the federal and state laws applicable to workplace environments and discrimination. Our legal team can provide guidance throughout, from filing an initial complaint to seeking compensation or a settlement agreement, while taking decisive action to prevent other colleagues and individuals from being sexually harassed by the workplace perpetrator.
Seeking advice from a sexual harassment lawyer is the first step in your case, and we can investigate the workplace discrimination or harassment you have suffered in South Carolina and ensure you make informed decisions about the right way forward.
If you have experienced unwelcome sexual advances or conduct in the workplace that has affected your performance or employment, the lawyers at the Strom Law Firm in South Carolina can help. Contact our sexual harassment attorneys today at 803-252-4800 for a free consultation.