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Columbus Workplace Sexual Harassment Lawyers

Columbus Workplace Sexual Harassment Lawyers

Employees have the right to be free from workplace sexual harassment, and yet, cases involving adult sexual abuse victims are common. These incidents occur in hospitals, banks, stores – everywhere where employers have been too tolerant of misconduct or engaged in it themselves. In addition, retaliation and discrimination often go hand-in-hand with workplace sexual harassment.

In too many instances, victims are worried about coming forward in case it could have an impact on their careers, and employers may appear to superficially look into things, but they fail to actually take any action, even if they find that the perpetrator may have engaged in unwelcome sexual conduct.

Yet employees should never have to live in fear that they will be terminated or demoted for reporting harassment or fired or blocked from promotions if they do not engage in inappropriate communication with whoever is harassing them. Over the last few years, the landscape has changed significantly, and your employer must address sexual harassment complaints and ensure that employees are free from a hostile work environment.

What is Sexual Harassment?

When an employer knows or should have known about harassment and/or a hostile work environment, yet they do not take immediate or corrective action, they can be held accountable in court. This conduct violates Title VII, which prohibits unlawful discrimination against someone based on their color, national origin, race, religion, or sex/sexual orientation.

There are two types of sexual harassment within Title VII:

  • Quid pro quo: employee is subject to unwelcome sexual harassment in the form of sexual advances or requests for favors based on sex, and this involves receiving a tangible job benefit, whereby the refusal would result in a job detriment, and respondent superiors failed to take immediate and appropriate corrective action
  • Hostile work environment: employee is subject to unwelcome sexual harassment in the form of advances, requests for favors, or other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature, based on sex, and it unreasonably interferes with their work performance by creating an offensive, hostile, or intimidating working environment; Respondent superior knew about the harassment but failed to take immediate and appropriate corrective action

Damages and Statute of Limitations

Note that, in Ohio, the statute of limitations for filing a sexual harassment case in state court is six years.

Depending upon what circumstances are involved, victims can seek to be reinstated to their jobs, and awarded damages, including past and future lost compensation and benefits. Sometimes, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and/or Ohio State’s Office of Institutional Equity will also get involved, review the allegations, and indicate whether or not they have found evidence of violation(s).

Columbus, Ohio, Sexual Harassment Lawyers

When many of us think of sexual harassment, we think of a woman being harassed or threatened by a man inappropriately in the workplace. However, it is important to note that sexual harassment applies to everyone, and everyone is protected from it in the workplace. This includes any prohibited actions that involve suggestive verbal remarks and touching someone without their consent upon finding out about their sexual orientation.

If you or a loved one has been the victim of sexual harassment in the workplace, it is important to stand up to these hostile work environments. Taking a stand can not only ensure that you are protected, but it can also encourage others to speak out when abuse is present. If you have any questions, contact our workplace harassment lawyers today for a free consultation.

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