Charleston Sexual Harassment Attorney
Protecting the Rights of West Virginia’s Employees
“Sexual harassment” is a broad term that includes many persistent, severe, and unwelcomed workplace actions, such as requesting sexual favors; making sexual advances; physical, verbal, or written sexual conduct; sexual conduct that interferes with performance at work; and conduct that creates a hostile, intimidating, or offensive situation at work. If any of these situations sound familiar, you may have grounds for an employment law claim.
Contact Hoosier Law Firm, PLLC to discuss your situation. We are available 24/7 for your convenience.
State & Federal Protections for Victims
Fortunately, there are both federal and state laws in place to protect employees against sexual harassment and deter future instances from happening. The West Virginia Human Rights Act prohibits workplace discrimination for those who work in the state. Federally, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits sexual harassment in the workplace. Claims are heard by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and the West Virginia Human Rights Commission but there is a statute of limitations to file.
Under state law, a victim has one year since the last instance of harassment occurred to file a sexual harassment claim. Federally, you have 300 days to file a claim with the EEOC.
Quid Pro Quo
“Quid pro quo” means “something for something” and is a form of sexual harassment when sexual favors or contact become a requirement to keep your job, receive a raise or promotion, or as any other term of an employee’s job. Quid pro quo harassment thus originates from supervisors or managers and is an imbalance of power that creates a hostile work environment.
Other Forms of Sexual Harassment
It is important to note that victims of sexual harassment can be any gender and have any sexual orientation. Harassment can also come from a direct or indirect supervisor or manager, a co-worker, client, vendor, or a non-employee. You company always has a duty to protect you and your rights as an employee, no matter what the circumstances. This means your employer should take immediate steps to correct the issue and you should never suffer from persistent workplace sexual harassment.
You also do not need to be directly involved in the harassment. You can feel intimidated or offended because your workplace has become hostile due to any of the following:
- Sexual jokes
- Sexual comments
- Texts, calls, or emails
- Unwelcomed contact
- Persistent and unwelcomed advances
Any of the following should be reported to your HR department, but remember that Human Resources works for your company, not you. By consulting with our Charleston employment law attorney, you can learn more about your rights and how to best protect them. Retaining our services can also help protect others from similar situations.
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