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Sexual harassment is legally defined as any unwanted and unwelcome sexual behavior, which can include verbal; e.g., derogatory comments, tales of sexual exploits, or physical harassment; e.g., leering, inappropriate touching, asking for sexual favors, displaying derogatory posters or art, and other advances or inappropriate conduct. Sexual harassment is illegal and is a form of sex discrimination, which violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 in employment settings.
Sexual harassment remains a persistent problem in the workplace. The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) receives thousands of charges of sexual harassment every year. Fortunately, all employees have legal rights in the workplace, and an employer is responsible for protecting those rights, keeping the workplace free from sexual harassment, and maintaining a hostile-free workplace environment.
However, if you find yourself a victim of sexual harassment while on-the-job, there are steps you can take to bring the harassment to an end:
Finally, there are certain steps that employers can take to prevent harassment from occurring in the first place. Employers should establish, distribute to all employees, and enforce a policy prohibiting harassment and setting out a procedure for making complaints. In most cases, the policy and procedure should be in writing.
Every worker has the right to work in a harassment-free environment, and sexual harassment should never be taken lightly. If you feel you have been the victim of sexual harassment, notify your employer at once. If the harassment continues, or the harasser is in fact your boss, contact a sexual harassment lawyer.
This article is intended to be helpful and informative. But even common legal matters can become complex and stressful. A qualified sexual harassment lawyer can address your particular legal needs, explain the law, and represent you in court. Take the first step now and contact a local sexual harassment attorney to discuss your specific legal situation.
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