Sexual harassment is a crime that affects millions of people a year. If you have experienced it personally, you don’t need to feel scared or isolated. The reason that the vast majority of sexual misconduct goes unreported is that victims are too afraid to speak out. They may be afraid of losing their job or not being believed. Alternatively, they may simply be embarrassed about what happened.
Whatever the reason, it’s never worth it to avoid dealing with sexual harassment. Sexual harassment is fully illegal and if you’ve been through it at work, you may be entitled to compensation.
Don’t waste any time getting in touch with a qualified Maryland sexual harassment lawyer. Even if you’re not sure whether or not what you’ve been through is a crime, an experienced attorney can examine your situation and let you know if you have a case.
The lawsuit against the owner of a Maryland steakhouse
Recently, a 17-year-old hostess at a now-closed restaurant in Silver Spring filed a lawsuit against the owner of the establishment for unwanted hugs and kisses, inappropriate comments, and inappropriate phone calls and text messages. The owner in question was 30 years older than her and was routinely putting the hostess in uncomfortable situations.
“This was especially difficult for Ms. Doe, who was a minor and did not know how to respond or deflect sexual advances from an adult, 30+ years her senior, who was her supervisor,” the lawsuit states.
The defendant is a well-known chef who won a Chef of the Year award from Restaurant Association Maryland in 2013. He also enjoyed a slew of other media recognition, making him a fairly influential, “high up” person. This could’ve contributed to the victim’s hesitancy in responding to the incidents.
Nonetheless, the girl is in the middle of pursuing compensatory damages of up to $5 million, and statutory damages up to $350,000. This story highlights the fact that just because someone may appear important and untouchable, it doesn’t mean they’re impervious to laws.
What are the laws against sexual harassment?
At the federal level, sexual harassment is prohibited under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which views sexual harassment as a form of gender-based discrimination. The Act applies to all companies in the private and public sector with 15 or more employees.
At the state level, Maryland has the Maryland Fair Employment Practices Act, which prohibits employment discrimination based on sex, marital status, sexual orientation, and gender identity.
Compensation can come in the form of:
- Front pay
- Back pay
- Being rehired or reinstated if you were unfairly fired
- Punitive damages like pain and suffering
- Statutory damages
Do you need help suing someone who sexually harassed you in the workplace?
Get in touch with a qualified Maryland-based sexual harassment attorney today to see what your options are.