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Defining Workplace Sexual Harassment

Workplace sexual harassment refers to any type of unwanted sexual behavior, including requesting sexual favors in exchange for a promotion or other positive employment-related outcome, comments or jokes of a sexual nature among employers or employees, and unwanted sexual advances or touching. Sexual harassment is sexual behavior in the workplace that makes a worker feel uncomfortable.

What if I Didn’t File a Complaint About the Sexual Harassment?

Filing a complaint about the sexual harassment you have endured is an important part of the process of putting an end to the behavior. In order to file a hostile work environment sexual harassment claim, you must be able to show that the employer was made aware of the situation and given the opportunity to mitigate it, or be able to prove that your employer knew or should have known of the inappropriate conduct. If you do not feel comfortable or safe notifying your supervisor, a Phoenix sexual harassment lawyer can assist you.

What Acts Are Considered Sexual Harassment?

Acts that are considered sexual harassment in Arizona workplaces include any unwelcome visual, verbal, written, or spoken sexual behavior, including inappropriate touching of others. Sexual comments or gestures and threats or intimidation of a sexual nature exhibited by a coworker or supervisor amount to workplace sexual harassment.

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Examples of Sexual Harassment

Some examples of sexual harassment include:

  • Jokes or comments of a sexual nature
  • Unwelcome sexual behavior exhibited visually, verbally, in writing, or physically
  • Sharing sexually explicit photos with coworkers who have not asked to view them
  • Displaying sexually inappropriate photos or posters in the workplace
  • Asking an employee inappropriate questions about their sexual history or orientation
  • Inappropriate touching, kissing, or hugging in the workplace
  • Direct requests for sexual favors

What Should I Do if I’m Being Sexually Harassed at Work?

If you are being sexually harassed at work, follow these four steps:

  1. Review workplace policies and begin documenting everything that can be used to prove that the harassment occurred. In addition to details about the sexual harassment you are experiencing, write down the names of any witnesses as well as the date(s) the harassment happened.
  2. Report harassment to your supervisor or HR. If there are workplace policies to protect you from this behavior, ensure that the situation is addressed in accordance with company policy. If there is no policy, bring the harassment to the attention of your manager or HR department IN WRITING.
  3. Contact an Arizona sexual harassment lawyer who can assist you in determining your next steps for legally addressing the situation.
  4. Confide in family, friends, or a licensed professional who can provide emotional and psychological support.

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Filing a Workplace Sexual Harassment Claim

In Arizona, employees have 300 days from the date on which the latest sexual harassment occurred to file a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). However, if you work for a company with fewer than 15 employees, you should file your complaint with the Arizona Civil Rights Division within 180 days. Speak with an experienced Arizona employment attorney to determine which Agency is appropriate to address your particular matter.

Finding the Best Arizona Sexual Harassment Lawyer for You

Although you are not obligated to have an attorney represent you in a sexual harassment claim, having one is highly encouraged as they bring knowledge of the law and experience with the legal process to your case. You are more likely to recover the compensation you are entitled to and get the justice you deserve when represented by an experienced Arizona employment attorney.

Contact our experienced legal team for a free case review to learn more about the process of filing a sexual harassment claim today.

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frequently asked question

What kind of lawyer do I need for workplace sexual harassment?

The type of lawyer you will need to assist you in filing a workplace sexual harassment claim is an employment lawyer. Employment lawyers handle employment law issues such as workplace harassment claims as well as wage disputes, union issues, and disputed workers’ compensation claims.

Can I bring a sexual harassment claim if I still work for the company?

Yes, and it is illegal for an employer to retaliate against an employee for filing a claim of sexual harassment. However, many employers will come up with other reasons to terminate an employeein such matters. If you have been terminated and you believe that termination is related to the complaint you filed, it is important to speak with an experienced Arizona sexual harassment lawyer right away.

Can I sue a former employer for sexual harassment?

If you are still within the statute of limitations and you can prove that you made an attempt to stop the harassment by reporting it to your employer to no avail, you may still be eligible to bring a lawsuit against your previous employer. If you quit your job because of the sexual harassment you suffered, you will be required to prove that the harassment rose to the level that it made you feel that leaving the job was your only recourse. State and Federal employment laws consider whether the harassment was so extreme that it would have caused a reasonable employee to quit. A knowledgeable workplace harassment attorney can help you fight for your rights and get the justice you deserve.

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