Charlotte Sexual Harassment Lawyers
Civil Trial Lawyers on Your Side
Sexual harassment in the workplace can take many forms. No matter what type of sexual harassment you may have experienced, it is unlawful and should not be tolerated. Every employee is entitled to work in an environment that is safe, fair, and respectful. Despite this, sexual harassment does exist in many work environments across North Carolina and the nation. In some cases, this type of behavior is reported and satisfactorily resolved. In other cases, the complaint may not be taken seriously or even may result in retaliation against the victim.
At Wooden Bowers Vinson, we take all claims of employee sexual harassment seriously and use our legal skills, knowledge, and dedication to client satisfaction to protect your legal rights under state and federal law. We also advise employers who may be facing these kinds of claims. Our firm can additionally help employers avoid such claims through the implementation of workplace policy, training, and manuals. If you are dealing with a sexual harassment issues, whether as an employer or employee, we recommend that you take advantage of our free, initial consultation to discuss your situation with one of our experienced attorneys as soon as possible.
Various Types of Sexual Harassment in the Workplace
Having a clear understanding of what constitutes sexual harassment is necessary for all employers and employees in the workplace. You may not realize all of the types of behavior that can be considered sexual harassment. Generally, any unwelcome behavior on the basis of a person’s sex and that affects that person’s job will fall into this category.
Examples of sexually harassing behavior can include but is not limited to:
- Unwanted touching
- Unwelcome sexual advances
- Requests for sexual favors
- Jokes, comments, emails, texts of a derogatory, offensive, or demeaning sexual nature
- Posters, cartoons, photos, or other visual sexual material of a derogatory, offensive, or demeaning nature
- Discussions about sexual activities
- The use of crude or offensive gestures or language
- Making demeaning comments about a person’s appearance
Victims and offenders can be of either sex or they can be of the same sex. Sexual harassment is generally of a frequent or consistent nature and can come from management, co-workers, other staff and even clients in the workplace. Offhand remarks and isolated incidents of a minor nature would not be considered a violation of sexual harassment law.
Quid Pro Quo
The general term of sexual harassment has also been categorized into two types. The first type is known as “quid pro quo” which generally means “a favor for a favor.” In this type, an employee is pressured or forced to engage in some type of sexual favor in return for an employment favor, such as:
- Pay raise
- Requirement to keep a job
This type of violation can only be committed by a supervisor or manager who can actually affect some aspect of the employee’s job. Quid pro quo harassment thus originates from supervisors or managers and is an imbalance of power that creates a hostile work environment.
Hostile Work Environment
The second type is referred to as a “hostile work environment,” where the abusive actions of supervisors and/or co-workers have become so pervasive that it affects the victim’s job performance.
Employees who report claims of sexual harassment also are protected from retaliation taken against them by supervisors, managers, or the employer. Moreover, an employee who does not report this type of behavior through the employer’s complaint procedure may find that he or she will not be able to bring a successful lawsuit against the employer in the future.
Have a Sexual Harassment Issue? Call Wooden Bowers Vinson.
Sexual harassment claims are taken seriously by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and by the courts. If you need to pursue or defend this type of case, you should retain the services of an employment law attorney as soon as possible. Your case may be subject to short deadlines; the sooner you bring your case to us, the sooner we can investigate and help you pursue justice.