Seattle Sexual Harassment Attorneys – Working to Stop Sexual Harassment and Seek Fair Compensation
Sexual Harassment is wrong. Unfortunately it occurs to both men and woman in the workplace at a disturbing rate in the United States.
What Constitutes Sexual Harassment?
Repeated and offensive unwanted sexual advancements, gesturing, physical conduct, and verbal abuse are all considered sexual harassment and should not be tolerated. Such conduct is illegal under both federal and state law.
If you have experienced sexual harassment at work, you have the right to file a sexual harassment lawsuit against your harasser, showing him or her that sexual harassment will not be tolerated, as well as against your employer, if they knowingly permitted harassment to take place.
As Seattle sexual harassment lawyers, we have years of experience representing those who have been sexually harassed against employers of all sizes, including multinational corporations and their teams of attorneys. We have successfully represented numerous clients in sexual harassment cases, and have helped them regain their dignity, as well as compensation for their suffering.
Types of Sexual Harassment
Sexual harassment can involve more than unwanted sexual advances. Common forms of sexual harassment include the following:
- Quid Pro Quo Sexual Harassment – In this situation, an employer representative (such as a manger) offers an employee certain benefits, such as a job advancement or a raise, in exchange for sexual favors. Such person may also use sex and sexual acts as a way to threaten an employee, such as implying that if the employee does not perform the sex acts that he or she will lose their job.
- Hostile Workplace Sexual Harassment – This form of sexual harassment occurs when an employee is forced to work in a hostile environment. Repeated lewd comments, sexist jokes, propositions, and offensive sexual stereotyping are examples of hostile workplace sexual harassment.
- Jilted Paramour Sexual Harassment – Harassment of this type happens when an employee breaks off a relationship or refuses advances, and the harasser retaliates in anger.
- Gender Stereotype Sexual Harassment – This type of harassment can be directed against men or women who do not fit typical sex roles. While sexual orientation harassment is illegal only in certain locations (e.g., unincorporated King County, or inside Seattle city limits), harassment because a man is effeminate or a woman is “butch” can support a lawsuit.
- Traditionally Male or Female Workplace – Sometimes the people who have been in the field for awhile view it as the province of one gender, not the other. Women in the building trades, or female doctors, computer programmers, or scientists, can be the subject of hostile comments which are not sexual, but which are motivated by gender. Although less common, men may also experience rejection and harassment when they try to work in traditionally-female fields.
Those engaging in sexual harassment can be of either sex. Victims may be of the opposite sex of the harasser, or of the same sex.
Sexual Harassers Tend to be Predators
They will continue preying on victims who they believe to be vulnerable until they are stopped. In some situations, these predators may believe that because they are “the boss” they have a right to say and do whatever they want to employees. The often do not understand (or do not care) that their conduct is wrong.
What To Do If You’ve Been Sexually Harassed
If you have been sexually harassed, make it clear to the harasser that the advances and conduct are unwelcome. This may be difficult, as it is usually easier to laugh at the jokes and hope they will stop, but it is important to put your foot down so that the perpetrator is clearly informed that his or her actions are unwelcome.
Additionally, you should:
- Report the sex harassment to your supervisor, unless it is your supervisor who is harassing you (in which case you may want to report it to your supervisor’s supervisor or HR management)
- Keep written records describing the sex harassment – these records should include the day and time of the harassment, what occurred, and who was present (or had knowledge of the harassment)
- What action you took, if any, reporting the harassment – who you spoke to, when you had the conversation, what they said, and what was done
- Keep copies of important documents, such as letters, and print e-mails (as these could be erased later)
- Send a letter to the human resources department explaining the sexual harassment that you experienced at work, together with copies of any written or electronic correspondence supporting your claims
- Consider consulting with a lawyer, even before making complaints
Compensation for Sexual Harassment
Compensation for sexual harassment can include damages for:
- Emotional suffering
- Back pay and other compensation, in cases in which a person was forced to leave a job
- Punitive damages (in some cases)
We Protect The Rights of Those Sexually Harassed – Call Us Today to Learn More About Your Rights and Options
We invite you to contact us so that you can learn about your rights and options. We help clients seek their objectives, which can range from writing cease-and-desist letters to company management to filing suit and seeking compensation.
When we learn about the facts and circumstances of your case and we understand the objectives you are seeking, we can develop a strategy toward your goals. The initial call is free, and we accept many cases on a contingency fee basis.