What is Sexual Harassment in the Workplace?
Workplace sexual harassment is any form of unwanted or unwelcome sexual advances. These can range from sexual requests, unwanted sexual comments, physical touching in a sexual manner and more.
Sexual harassment can occur from anyone. It can be a manager, supervisor, co-worker, or someone in a different department. A customer or client can also commit sexual harassment.
What Laws Protect Employees From Sexual Harassment?
There are both federal and state laws that protect employees from workplace sexual harassment. Title VII of the Civil Rights act of 1964 was passed to protect employees. Under Title VII, sexual harassment is illegal as it is viewed as a form of discrimination under this law. Because this is a federal law, it covers all states.
There are also specific state laws that protect employees from sexual harassment and discrimination. Each state's law is different, so consult with your state department for specific rules and regulations.
Who Enforces These Laws?
For federal cases, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) oversees that Title VII is enforced. You can file a workplace sexual harassment claim with the EEOC.
Each state has their own labor or civil rights department that oversees state laws. You can file a claim with your state's department for your workplace sexual harassment claim. Most state departments have a work-sharing agreement with the EEOC. This means that claims filed with the state department will be automatically filed with the EEOC when applicable.
Getting Help With a Workplace Sexual Harassment Claim
It can be challenging filing a workplace claim for sexual harassment. A lawyer may be able to help. They can help navigate state and federal laws. They can also help gather evidence and file your claim. Fill out the Free Case Evaluation on this page today!
For more information about workplace sexual harassment by state: