Many sexual harassment victims are reluctant to take any sort of action because they simply don’t know what to do and how are their rights protected. In Kansas, any form of discrimination based on sex is prohibited under both federal and state law, such as Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Kansas Act Against Discrimination. Anyone feeling harassed in the workplace should talk to a lawyer to understand what are their options.
Winning a sexual harassment case depends on several factors. The most important thing is to prove that the sexual harassment you were subjected to was persistent and severe enough to impact your job performance and to cause mental anguish. In other words, a single act of a harassing nature, no matter how offensive, does not constitute grounds for filing a sexual harassment complaint.
This is why experienced sexual harassment lawyers want to have a good look at all the facts before taking a case and suggesting a course of action.
Another important factor is who was responsible, whether it was a supervisor or a coworker. If the harasser was a supervisor or anyone from management level, you have a potential case of quid pro quo. The term refers to someone in a position of authority within the company soliciting sexual favors from you, with the direct or implicit threat that failure to submit to their request might result in termination of your contract. The same applies when an employee is refused a promotion or pay raise if they do not agree to have sex with a supervisor.
If the harasser is a coworker, the victim needs to make written notes on every incident, noting what was said and who joined in the offensive behavior. Often enough when there are very few women working in a male-dominated business, the guys band up to make fun of their female colleagues and humiliate them. If one man tells a sexually-offensive joke and the others start laughing and sneering at the women present that constitutes a hostile work environment and you have every right to file a complaint. Keep in mind that, once again, an isolated incident will not be enough to substantiate your claims.
If there are other coworkers present who did not engage in this type of harassing behavior, seasoned employment lawyers will want to talk to them as their testimony is vital in proving your accusations.
Kansas sexual harassment lawyers with good knowledge of state laws will tell you that before you can file a complaint with state or federal authorities, it is essential that you report the sexual harassment to your employer. Obviously, if it’s the same boss that’s been pestering you with sex requests there’s no point in complaining to them, but at least make sure your objection was noted. Talk to a coworker you trust and let them witness how distraught you are by the treatment you’re subjected to.
If your employer doesn’t take any steps to put an end to the sexual harassment, you are entitled to complain to state authorities or file a lawsuit asking for damages. If you win, your employer will be ordered to compensate you for lost wages, mental suffering, as well as for your legal fees.