Attorneys Helping You Fight Back Against Sexual Harassment
For too long in the United States, employers, supervisors and others in positions of authority have been able to demean and sexually harass employees who feel powerless to stop it. And while this unacceptable behavior is still prevalent today, victims now have more public and legal support to fight back, assert their rights and hold their harassers legally liable.
At Maloney O'Laughlin PLLC, we have a long history of representing victims of sexual harassment in the workplace. We understand what you have gone through and how scary it can be to advocate for yourself. When you hire us, we will fight with every tool available to stop the behavior, help you seek compensation and hold your employer responsible for failing to protect you.
What Constitutes Illegal Sexual Harassment?
Those who commit harassment try to minimize their comments and actions as harmless. But if you feel like you have been sexually harassed, you can usually trust your instincts. Broadly, sexual harassment falls into two categories that include “quid pro quo” harassment and “hostile work environment.”
Quid pro quo harassment occurs when your workplace superior tries to make job benefits or the threat of punishment contingent upon sexual favors from you. Quid pro quo translates to “this for that,” and it is essentially trading job status (good or bad) for sexual favors.
The other category of harassment is hostile work environment. This includes every comment, unwelcome touch or action of a sexual nature that has no place in the work environment, such as:
- Unwanted and unwelcome physical contact
- Inappropriate jokes or comments of a sexual nature
- Inappropriate jokes/comments stereotyping either gender
- Displaying crude pictures, signs or other images in the workplace
- Watching pornography in view or earshot of someone else
- Frequent request for dates or comments on an employee’s appearance
The list above is far from complete. Chances are good that if a behavior feels like sexual harassment – especially if it occurs frequently – it is worth discussing with an attorney.
Know Your Legal Rights And Options
Sexual harassment is considered a form of gender discrimination, and is illegal under both federal and state law. The primary federal law prohibiting sexual harassment is Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
You can be a victim of sexual harassment regardless of your gender and the harasser’s gender. You can also be harassed by a co-worker, superior or someone outside the company whom you are forced to interact with such as a customer. It is your employer’s responsibility to stop the harassment, once reported, and ensure that it does not happen again.
If your employer fails to stop the behavior and/or punishes you for reporting it, contact us so that we can begin investigating. We will help you pursue all appropriate legal remedies, including financial compensation.
Contact Us To Share Your Story
The attorneys at Maloney O'Laughlin PLLC are fierce advocates for the rights of employees in Seattle and throughout Washington. To share your story and discuss your options during an initial consultation, call us at 206-536-2338 or fill out our online contact form.