Every person has a right to work in a workplace free of sexual harassment. Unfortunately, sexual harassment is prevalent in offices across the country as well as right here in Tennessee. Although sexual harassment may be the most well known form of employment discrimination, it can sometimes be confusing for you to know whether you have been the target of sexual harassment. If you have been the victim of sexual harassment, contact one of our Tennessee sexual harassment attorneys at The Higgins Firm.What Is Sexual Harassment?
Although experiencing sexual harassment in the workplace can be confusing for a worker, defining what sexual harassment is can be just as difficult. Unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature constitute sexual harassment when:
- Submitting to the conduct is made a condition of employment,
- Submitting to or rejecting the conduct is used as the basis for employment decisions, or
- The conduct has the effect of unreasonably interfering with the individual’s performance or it creates an intimidating work environment.
Obviously, it can be difficult to understand only from definitions whether actions involve sexual harassment. Some examples of sexual harassment may include but are not limited to:
- Sexual threats, coercion, or pressure
- Calling someone sexually-oriented or sexually-suggestive nicknames
- Insinuating that sexual favors must be given to keep your job, receive higher pay, etc.
- Sexual advances, insults, or other similar behavior
- Unwanted physical contact of any kind including brushing, patting, squeezing, tickling, etc.
- Showing sexually suggestive pictures, materials, etc.
If you have experienced any of the unwelcomed actions above that have resulted in a feeling of coercion or an adverse employment action, you may have a claim for sexual harassment.What Should an Employee Do If a He or She Has Experienced Sexual Harassment?
If you feel that you have been the victim of sexual harassment by a coworker in the workplace, the actions should be documented and reported immediately to a supervisor or someone in a position or authority. You should also provide any evidence of sexual harassment (i.e. emails, text messages) to a supervisor when reporting a claim. If your company or workplace has a specified policy for reporting a sexual harassment claim, it is important for you to specifically follow those procedures. If the person harassing you is a supervisor or some other individual in a managerial position, you should document and report the action to a person above the supervisor. It is important to keep a copy of any notice that you provide to your employer regarding any harassment claim. If your employer does not take any corrective action or if an adverse employment action has taken place as a result of reporting sexual harassment, the experienced and caring attorneys at The Higgins Firm can help you.Sexual Harassment in Tennessee
Tennessee has certain requirements that must be met for a sexual harassment claim. A federal cause of action must be filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission within 300 days. In addition, a state cause of action must be filed within one year. Depending on the claim, additional steps could be required. Contact the attorneys at The Higgins Firm to learn more about a sexual harassment claim in Tennessee.
If you feel you or a loved one has been the victim of sexual harassment, we strongly advise you to contact our Tennessee sexual harassment attorneys right away. Contact us online or call us at 800-705-2121 to set up a FREE consultation.