DC Workplace Sexual Harassment Lawyer
We all deserve to pursue our careers in a safe and comfortable environment. Unfortunately, many workplaces create hostile or otherwise uncomfortable scenarios that negatively affect the quality of a person’s day to day life.
It does not matter if the offensive conduct is done by an employee or a supervisor; any instance of workplace misconduct can be cause for an investigation or lawsuit.
A DC workplace sexual harassment lawyer can help employees who have been targeted by sexual harassment to understand their rights. Contact a distinguished personal injury attorney to pursue the appropriate remedies for your situation.
What is Sexual Harassment?
Sexual harassment constitutes a wide-ranging series of activities that carry a sexual implication. Any time that any person in the workplace makes any sort of sexual comment, or makes comments about sex as a whole, this can be considered harassment. As a DC workplace sexual harassment lawyer knows, the average person would be offended by this conduct, the action is classified as harassment. Common examples of workplace sexual harassment include:
- Sexual jokes
- Sexual comments or innuendo
- Unwelcome sexual advances
- Using sex as a weapon; for example as path to a promotion or raise
- Using sex as an ultimatum to get a job or keep it
Any single instance of this conduct can serve as grounds for a complaint and both employees and supervisors are subject to these rules. Indeed, federal law prohibits this conduct in the workplace and enforces these laws through the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).
What Can People do When they Face Harassment?
The first line of defense is always a company’s human resources department. All larger companies are required by law to have a human resources department that handles allegations of sexual harassment. They are also required to devise and implement procedures for the investigation and resolution of harassment claims. When people face sexual harassment they should follow and exhaust all internal procedures.
But often times, the procedures in the workplace are insufficient to fix the problems. In still other cases, the harassing culture is so ingrained as to prevent human resources from investigating the claim at all. In these situations, an employee must contact the EEOC directly to investigate the claim.
The EEOC is a federal agency dedicated to investigating and punishing allegations of harassment and discrimination around the country. To request that the EEOC investigate an allegation, an employee must file a formal complaint with the agency.
All complaints must be filed within 180 days of the alleged harassment. Many cases involve continuous, ongoing harassment so a time limit is not often an issue. Still, if the time limit passes, the employee will be left without options.
What is the Role of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission?
The EEOC has the ability to investigate any allegation of sexual harassment. Once a complaint is filed, they take the initiative to:
- Question witnesses
- Gather documentation
- View security footage
This is designed for the EEOC to come to a decision about whether the harassment took place. If they rule in favor of the employee they can order more intensive training at the workplace, order increased payments for unequal pay, or reinstate the worker at the job.
In cases where the EEOC rules against the worker, they will issue a right to sue letter that serves as entry into a federal courthouse.
How an Attorney Can Help
Workplace sexual harassment is sadly a common occurrence in today’s workplaces. Any comment, joke, or action that refers to a person’s sex or demands sexual favors counts as harassment.
The federal government employs the EEOC to investigate, mediate, and punish workplaces that violate sexual harassment laws. A DC workplace sexual harassment lawyer could help you file claims with the EEOC.
If the EEOC declines to help the employee, we file complaints in federal district courts asking for relief. Employees have only 180 days after an incident to file a complaint so don’t wait; contact our firm immediately.