Civil rights activists in New Mexico continue their fight against sexual discrimination in the workplace. Much remains to be done, even though the New Mexico Human Rights Act clearly prohibits any type of discrimination based on sex, sexual orientation, or gender identity in all companies with four or more employees. The #MeToo movement registered a major victory in 2020, when the law was amended to stop employers from using Non-disclosure agreements in order to prevent employees from reporting sexual harassment cases.
When you reach out to a lawyer, they will ask about any NDA, just to make sure your employer is not breaking the law by trying to gag you. At the same time, they’ll want to know if there’s an anti-discrimination policy in your company and whether employees receive training on how to prevent sexual harassment. These elements are very important when it comes to assessing liability. Sexual harassment training is not mandatory in New Mexico, but judges tend to be more severe with employers who fail to enact such policy as it shows lack of care in providing a safe environment for all employees.
Sexual harassment lawyers will listen to your story and advise you on how to proceed. Usually, victims of sexual harassment are encouraged to talk to their employer about the abuse they were subjected to. That’s if the employer is not part of the problem, which is the case in many stories. When a supervisor or an employee in a senior position is harassing you, clearly waiting for you to give in and accept to have sex with them, that’s a quid pro quo case.
If you’re being harassed by one or more coworkers, that’s a case of a hostile environment. In order to prove hostile environment, employment lawyers advise their clients on what type of proof do they need. Any sort of verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature can be used to prove sexual harassment. In some cases, the harasser displays sexual messages or images in the workplace to humiliate their victims. Telling sexual jokes or making suggestive sounds or gestures also amounts to harassment. To win a case, you’ll need to prove that it was not some isolated incident, but you were forced to work in an atmosphere of pervasive sexual harassment.
When you’re contemplating filing a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission or the state Human Rights Agency, you’ll want skilled New Mexico sexual harassment lawyers working on your side. That’s very important as the law can be used to condition the type of damages you are entitled to by by forcing you to keep your mouth shut about the abuse you’ve experienced. You might be pressured to accept confidentiality provisions. In other words, you can only get the money, if you agree not to disclose the amount or any information that could lead to the identification of the employer. That’ s very restrictive, but civil rights activists are looking into challenging this provision, too.