Sexual Harassment Attorneys in Houston
Sexual Harassment Lawyers Protect Civil Rights
Anyone can be a victim of sexual harassment in the workplace, which is why it is so important to know what sexual harassment may look like, and what you should do if it happens to you. The boss that pinches the backside of the assistant; the cubicle neighbor who posts photos or jokes of an offensive sexual nature; the supervisor who seduces an underling, and then demotes him when he refuses to continue the affair—these are all examples of sexual harassment on the job.
Whether you have been a victim of workplace harassment, you think you may be experiencing harassment, or you have complete confidence that you never will be harassed in your current place of business, it is always important to be prepared.
Even in the most welcoming of work environments, it is possible to experience some sort of sexual harassment, however minor or well-hidden. Sexual harassment, in the workplace and beyond, can be extremely detrimental on an emotional, physical, and professional scale. Sexual harassment at work can cause serious psychological damage, could impede job performance, might be physically uncomfortable or harmful, and may present a number of other serious issues. For these reasons and more, it absolutely crucial that everyone is able to recognize sexual harassment in the workplace.
Examples of Sexual Harassment in the Workplace
Harassment can be defined as any kind of unwanted touching, sending explicit photographs, requesting sexual favors, denying a promotion or raise because you denied any sexual advances, or any other unwanted sexual activity. This kind of harassment can happen between coworkers of equal status, though it most often stems from those in a position of power, leaving the victim feeling as though he or she must acquiesce for fear of retaliation.
Sexual harassment can be humiliating, professionally damaging, and may affect the victim’s work performance. In extreme situations, a worker, usually a boss, may use raises or job promotions as bartering chips in return for sexual favors. Or, a coworker could be making inappropriate comments that make another employee feel uncomfortable. Regardless of the supposed severity of the situation, any type of sexual harassment in the workplace is deemed inappropriate and is punishable by law.
The following may be red flags for sexual harassment in the workplace:
- Remarks or comments referring to someone’s personal appearance or private areas, especially using sexual language
- Inappropriate touching, especially in a provocative manner
- Discrimination or harassment based on sexual orientation or gender identity
- When one employee, typically someone in an authoritative position, makes sexual advances towards another worker
- Forwarding someone’s personal photos that are graphic or sexual in nature, even if they were obtained online
- Forwarding someone’s writings that are sexual or provocative and were intended to be personal (email, text messages, etc.)
What Does the Law Say About Sexual Harassment?
For over 40 years, sexual harassment at work has been explicitly prohibited as a violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Despite nearly two generations of awareness and education on the topic, sexual harassment is still a reality for too many workers.
Specifically, the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) defines sexual harassment as follows:
- “Unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature…when submission to or rejection of this conduct explicitly or implicitly affects an individual's employment, unreasonably interferes with an individual's work performance or creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive work environment.”
What Should I Do if I was Sexually Harassed at Work?
Sexual harassment on the job need not be tolerated. If you are a victim of sexual harassment at work in Texas or anywhere in the United States, the Houston employment law firm of Shellist Lazarz Slobin wants to be your advocate. Please contact us for an evaluation of your sexual harassment situation and a discussion of how you can help yourself, and how we might help you.
If your job is on the line, we can take steps to protect it. If you wish to motivate your employer to take steps to stop the harassment, we can help you file the appropriate complaints within the time frame allowed by law. And if you believe you have suffered economic loss as a result of the sexual harassment, we can help you document that and prepare to file a lawsuit seeking compensation for your loss.
If you are a victim of sexual harassment at the workplace, you are likely feeling powerless against the attacker, as well as your place of employment. This is why it is important you take the following steps in an effort to take back your sense of agency:
- Enlist the services of a Houston employment lawyer who will advise you on the best course of action according to your particular situation
- Gather any documentation or evidence you can
- Follow your company’s official procedure regarding this offensive and illegal conduct
- If your employer does not comply or refuses to proceed with your complaint in an adequate manner, you may file an administrative charge with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) with the help of our team at Shellist Lazarz Slobin.
Call Shellist Lazarz Slobin at (713) 352-3433
The sexual harassment attorneys at Shellist Lazarz Slobin have experience in resolving this type of complaint for clients throughout Texas and across the nation. We encourage you to contact an employment law attorney in Houston regarding your case. We are happy to answer your questions and to tell you more about your options.
Contact us at (713) 352-3433 to discuss your sexual harassment matter.