Maryland Workplace Sexual Harassment Lawyer

One of the most common complaints that we hear about peoples’ workplace experience is that they are subjected to inappropriate behavior. Much of this behavior involves sexual comments, innuendo, or outright abuse. We all have the right to be free of this sort of environment no matter where we work.

While most workplaces will have a human resources department dedicated to the prevention and punishment of sexual harassment, often times these attempts to solve the problem are ineffective.

A Maryland workplace sexual harassment lawyer could help people understand their rights under federal and Maryland law. For guidance in this area, speak with an experienced personal injury attorney right away.

When does Behavior Rise to the Level of Sexual Harassment?

Maryland has defined sexual harassment as unwelcome sexual advances, a request for a sexual favor, or any conduct of a sexual nature. This behavior constitutes harassment when it is committed as a condition of a person’s continued employment, when its acceptance is used to determine a person’s employment status or pay rate, or when the behavior creates an intimidating or hostile work environment.

There are a number of commonly seen activities that meet this definition. Well known examples include:

  • Demanding sex as a condition for a raise, promotion, or continued employment
  • Disseminating information about someone’s sex life
  • Making jokes of a sexual nature
  • Inappropriately touching another person
  • Making statements about the worth of employees due to their sex
  • Making sexual advances towards another when they are not welcome

Sexual harassment can be committed by any person in the workplace against any other person. Fellow employees who share the same job title are just as liable for their actions as supervisors dealing with subordinates. Inappropriate behavior is harassment, no matter who is doing it.

How can an Employee Seek Relief?

The first step in dealing with sexual harassment in the workplace is to report it to your company’s human resources department. Most companies are required to have these workers whose purpose is to investigate and form resolutions to allegations of harassment. However, this is not always effective.

In some situations, a human resources department is not able to bring an end to the harassment. This can be due to the harasser’s influence within the company or because the culture of harassment is too deeply ingrained into the company culture. When this is the case, the employee must turn to the government for help.

Understanding the Role of Equal Employment Opportunity Commission

The federal government has created an agency known as the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). This agency is dedicated to investigating allegations of sexual harassment in workplaces around the country. To initiate an investigation, a worker needs to file a complaint no more than 180 days after the incident took place.

The EEOC will then conduct their investigation by interviewing witnesses, examining documentation, and reviewing the company’s HR policies. If the EEOC finds that discrimination took place, they have the power to punish the company as well as to award the worker damages.

If the EEOC declines to take action, they will issue the worker a right to sue letter. This serves as a gateway for a plaintiff who wishes to file a lawsuit in federal court. This is the only means by which an employee can directly sue their employer for harassment. A Maryland workplace sexual harassment lawyer could represent those in both EEOC complaints and in traditional lawsuits.

How a Maryland Workplace Sexual Harassment Lawyer can Help

Everyone deserves the opportunity to earn a living and pursue their careers in peace. Unfortunately, sexual harassment can negatively impact our day to day lives in ways ranging from an uncomfortable inconvenience to outright abuse. Any instance of sexual harassment is sufficient to take action.

Maryland workplace sexual harassment lawyers help workers to understand their rights and to pursue appropriate remedies through the proper means. There is a time limit to file a complaint so don’t wait; contact us today.