Often enough you hear people saying that the people at work feel like a second family to them. That’s good, but in some cases, people take things literally and start behaving in a way that’s too familiar, to the point of making you feel uncomfortable, anxious or even threatened. If your boyfriend says you look hot in that dress, that’s OK, but if it’s your boss or a coworker that says it, that’s not OK at all. That’s sexual harassment as defined by the law.
In the state of Utah, sexual discrimination, including harassment, is prohibited under the Anti-discrimination Act, which applies to all public or private employers with 15 or more employees. If you think that you’re sexually harassed, you should talk to a lawyer to learn what you can do about it. And there’s plenty you can do, you’re not powerless or defenseless, as most victims often feel.
You are fully protected under the law, but you need to be smart about it and follow all the legal steps.
First of all, schedule a consultation with some good sexual harassment lawyers, to make sure you do have a case. Or enough evidence to prove it.
What exactly is sexual harassment? If someone you work with compliments your looks that’s not necessarily harassment. A guy telling you that your new dress is gorgeous, that might be a sincere and innocent remark. However, if he tells you that your breasts look great under that dress, that’s no longer an innocent comment. Yet, that’s not enough to claim sexual harassment. According to the law, sexually-explicit comments, jokes or questions need to be of a pervasive nature to amount to a hostile work environment. If you hear comments about your physical appearance on a regular basis, or if a coworker touches you in an inappropriate and unwanted way, that’s also harassment, therefore illegal.
Experienced employment lawyers can also help you with a different type of harassment, unfortunately quite common in the workplace. This type of harassment is known as quid pro quo, as in your supervisor asking you for sexual favors and promising a raise in return, or some other perks. This is not allowed, not even if the guilty party later claims it was meant as a joke. You just don’t make this type of joke in the workplace, especially when you’re in a management position.
Utah sexual harassment lawyers will guide you through the legal steps. The first thing you need to do is to report the harassment to your employer, obviously if it’s not the same guy that keeps asking you out on a date. That would be awkward and pointless.
Your employer is required to investigate any sexual harassment complaint, and inform you of their findings and the disciplinary measures taken against those responsible. If they don’t do anything or, even worse, threaten you with retaliation, your attorneys will help you file a complaint with a state or federal agency that can and will help you.