If you’ve been the victim of sexual harassment in the workplace, it may be tempting to ignore it, put it off, or keep it a secret. Many victims end up doing this because they feel embarrassed or afraid to lose their jobs.
Sometimes it’s difficult to even tell if what happened was illegal or not, and sometimes it may seem like it’s impossible to prove. Regardless of your situation, it’s important to know that sexual harassment is illegal at both the state and federal level. It’s possible that whoever harassed you may be liable for damages, and you can make sure they face legal consequences. As a victim, you also may be entitled to compensation.
If you’re wondering whether or not you have a legitimate case or not, get in touch with an experienced New Hampshire sexual harassment lawyer right to explore your legal options.
Are there laws against sexual harassment in the workplace?
Under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, discrimination in basically every employment circumstance on the basis of race, color, religion, gender, pregnancy, or national origin is prohibited. Thus, sexual harassment is considered discrimination based on gender. This law applies to all companies in the public and private sectors with 15 or more employees.
Most states also have their own state-level laws that prohibit sexual harassment. New Hampshire has the New Hampshire Law Against Discrimination which has virtually the same statutes as the Civil Rights Act but exists on the state level. It also applies to all employers in both sectors with 6 or more employees instead of 15. The law prohibits “employment discrimination based on sex, gender identity, or sexual orientation, including sexual harassment” (NH Rev. Stat. Sec. 354-A:1 et seq.).
How do I know if what happened to me was illegal?
You can ask yourself which one of these two scenarios best fit your situation:
- Quid pro quo
- Hostile work environment
Quid pro quo is when sex is used or implied by a higher ranking person in a company or organization on someone below them. It’s when they try to exchange job benefits for sexual favors. For example, the CEO of a company telling his personal assistant that he’ll give her a promotion if she performs a sexual act on him
“Hostile work environment” is when someone is subject to behavior that creates a hostile work environment for them. This could be something like:
- Rude lewd comments
- Unwanted sexual touching or advances
- Indecent exposure
How do I file a lawsuit for sexual harassment in New Hampshire?
Anyone trying to file a lawsuit for sexual harassment in the workplace must first file a claim with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) within 300 days. This process doesn’t require a lawyer, but you will have a much better shot at winning compensation if you do have one.
Whether you’re in Albany or Bartlet, experienced New Hampshire sexual harassment lawyers are ready to assist you.