With the #MeToo movement currently at the forefront of national news, many men and women find themselves reflecting on their own encounters with employers and other authority figures. They may wonder if some of the behavior they have been exposed to constitutes sexual harassment.
When do suggestive jokes or playful flirting cross the line and become illegal? Here is a closer look at sexual harassment, and how it is defined by the laws in Pennsylvania and throughout the country.
What is Sexual Harassment?
Sexual harassment is not always obvious and easy to recognize. It can often be subtle and pervasive. It involves harassment based on a person’s sex – though may not always be of a sexual nature. According to the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), forms of sexual harassment include:
- Physical harassment
- Requests for sexual favors
- Unwelcome sexual advances
- Verbal harassment
It is important to note that sexual harassment does not always involve a male perpetrator and female victim. Both parties can be the same sex. They can be colleagues, peers, and may even involve clients or customers.
Infrequent teasing or an offhand joke is generally not considered sexual harassment according to the law. When the behavior is so persistent, frequent, and unwanted that it creates a hostile work environment, it may be harassment.
What Should You Do If You are Being Sexually Harassed?
If you have been the victim of sexual harassment, the first step is to contact a Pittsburgh sexual harassment lawyer for smart legal guidance. Depending on the specifics surrounding your case, your lawyer may assist you with:
- Documenting the sexual harassment
- Reporting the sexual harassment to your employer
- Advising you on how to deal with your harasser if the unwanted behavior continues
- Monitoring your employer’s response to your claim
- Taking steps to protect yourself from retaliation
- Pursuing employment litigation when necessary
Every American worker has the right to feel safe and protected from sexual harassment at work. Every employer is required by law to investigate your claim of sexual harassment and not take any action against you after you file a complaint. When your employer fails to prevent or correct a hostile work environment, you may need to take legal action.
Pittsburgh Sexual Harassment Lawyers at AlpernSchubert P.C. Protect Victims of Sexual Harassment in Pennsylvania
An experienced and knowledgeable Pittsburgh sexual harassment lawyer at AlpernSchubert P.C. is your best advocate when facing a hostile work environment. We will guide you through every step of reporting the matter to your employer and filing a charge of discrimination, should they fail to resolve the matter completely. To take the first step to ending sexual harassment, schedule a free no-obligation consultation by calling 412-765-1888 or complete the easy web contact form to get started today. Based in Pittsburgh, we proudly serve clients in and around Allegheny County, Lawrence County, Washington County, and throughout the state of Pennsylvania.