Sexual harassment, especially in the workplace, is one of the most difficult issues for victims to deal with, yet it’s sadly all too common. Often, people who have experienced sexual harassment can be afraid, confused, or hesitant to report it. In some cases, they do not even feel certain that what happened to them was indeed harassment.
If you believe you have been sexually harassed, know that there are laws to protect you and people who are willing to help you fight for your rights. Talk to a lawyer you can trust. The Fitch Law Firm can provide the compassionate legal help you need for this sensitive case, while aggressively fighting for the justice you deserve. Call us at 855-LAW-OHIO for a free and confidential consultation.
Types Of Sexual Harassment
In the workplace or similar environment, sexual harassment does not always have to include inappropriate touching or asking for sexual favors. There are many more ways a person can be sexually harassed. Let’s take a look at the two most common types of sexual harassment.
Quid Pro Quo
This is the most recognizable form of harassment. The Latin phrase “quid pro quo” means “this for that”, and it refers to harassment that involves a demand for a sexual favor in exchange for something such as a promotion, a raise, or special privileges. It can likewise mean the loss of a job benefit if the victim refuses the demand for sexual favors or rejects a sexual advance, especially by a job superior.
It can be considered harassment if there is unwelcome behavior that is so pervasive that it creates an intimidating or offensive environment and unreasonably interferes with someone’s work. This behavior can be verbal, nonverbal, or physical, and it can occur in offices, schools, and similar places. Examples of behavior that create a hostile environment include:
- Inappropriate sexual discussions, jokes, or insults
- Inappropriate comments about a person’s body
- Sexually crude gestures
- Display of posters or images that are sexually suggestive
- Sending inappropriate emails, texts, videos, and the like
- Giving sexually suggestive “gifts”
- Inappropriate physical contact
Scenarios like this can be confusing. If you find yourself in a situation where someone’s behavior makes you uncomfortable, but you are unclear whether it is harassment or not, consult with someone who is knowledgeable about the law.
Sexual Harassment Misconceptions
One of the reasons sexual harassment victims do not report their experience is that they’re clouded by misconceptions about this issue. Here are some of these myths:
- Myth: Sexual harassment happens only to women.
Fact: Sexual harassment happens to men, too. As much as 17.1 percent of sexual harassment charges in 2015 were filed by men, according to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
- Myth: The harasser should be of the opposite sex.
Fact: Same-sex harassment happens. Sexual harassment is harassment regardless of the harasser’s sex or gender.
- Myth: Only bosses can commit sexual harassment.
Fact: Sexual harassment can also be from a co-worker, from someone in a different department or area, or even from a non-employee.
- Myth: If it happened outside the workplace or outside work hours, it is not harassment.
Fact: Sexual harassment is still harassment regardless of whether it was off-the-clock or whether it occurred outside company property.
- Myth: Victims who have kept their jobs or job benefits have no grounds to claim harassment.
Fact: A victim does not have to be fired, demoted, or forced to quit to be able to claim that he/she has been harassed.
What A Sexual Harassment Victim Is Entitled To
Sexual harassment victims suffer emotional injuries and sometimes financial difficulties because of their experience. Thus, when they pursue a claim or lawsuit, they may be able to obtain remedies such as:
- Compensation for emotional distress
- Compensation for medical expenses, if the victim was injured
- Reinstatement, if the victim lost the job
- Back pay, if the victim lost wages or missed out on a raise
- Recovery of lost benefits
- Compensation for court costs and other legal fees
- A requirement for the employer to enforce workplace policies to stop harassment
- Termination of the offender.
Aside from these, a huge reason for sexual harassment victims to pursue a legal case is to regain their peace of mind, knowing that they are fighting for justice and standing up for their rights. With the help of a good lawyer, they can succeed in their fight and ease back into their life, moving forward from their experience.
Finding The Right Sexual Harassment Lawyer In Ohio
A sexual harassment case is highly delicate. It requires an attorney who is sensitive towards the victim yet aggressive in fighting for the case. So if you are looking for a sexual harassment lawyer in Ohio, trust in a law firm known for its competence, commitment, and compassion.
The Fitch Law Firm is known for it’s combination of powerful representation and compassionate treatment of clients. Talk to us about your situation. Your initial consultation is free and confidential. Call (855) LAW-OHIO today.