Cleveland Sexual Harassment Lawyers
The Civil Rights Commission In Ohio reported an increase in sexual harassment cases in 2017. The reality of sexual harassment claims is that many people do not pursue them, and even fewer take it to a courtroom. Employees may choose against filing formal complaints or grievances because many are dependent on employment and believe that they will see retaliatory firings as a result of their claim. What you should know about sexual harassment lawsuits in Cleveland is that you deserve a safe working environment free of sexual harassment and misconduct. Your legal pathway begins with a Cleveland sexual harassment attorney who can help you navigate this process.
According to the US Equal Opportunity Employment Commission, sexual harassment can happen between various professional relationships and working environments. These are some of the factors that are stated by the EOEC that may put you in a sexual harassment situation.
- Any gender or biological sex can be the target of sexual harassment. The perpetrator can be of any sexual orientation or the same orientation as the victim.
- The perpetrator of the sexual harassment can be a boss, manager, or supervisor. This person can also be a co-worker or subordinate to the victim.
- The victim doesn’t have to be the target of sexual harassment in order for the behavior to impact them negatively in the workplace. This means that if the behavior is happening indirectly, it can also be considered sexual harassment, and should be considered for a claim.
- A firing, as a retaliatory measure of a sexual harassment claim, is unlawful and has its own set of legal implications.
Types of Sexual Harassment
There are two different versions of sexual harassment that employees should be made aware of and can result in legal matters for an employer. The first is unwelcome sexual advancements on an individual. The second is offensive conduct that is of sexual nature and creates a hostile working environment. A Cleveland sexual harassment defense attorney will want to hear the details about your case so they can determine which sexual harassment claim is appropriate for your circumstances.
There are a number of different kinds of behaviors that result in sexual harassment cases according to the Department of Labor. Here is a list of some of those to help you discover whether or not you have a sexual harassment claim.
- The request for sexual cooperation in order to receive work-related benefits. For instance, if a boss offers you a promotion in exchange for a sexual favor.
- The discussion of sexual activity or even the telling of jokes with sexual content can be considered sexual harassment in the workplace.
- Anyone who approaches you, touches you inappropriately, or makes comments about your physical characteristics, are behaviors consistent with sexual harassment.
- Indecent gestures, language, terms, or photos can lead to making employees feel uncomfortable in the workplace and can violate sexual harassment laws.
- You are also protected under sexual harassment laws from hostile sexual advancements.
How are Sexual Harassment Cases Pursued in Cleveland
A sexual harassment lawyer in Cleveland can support your legal rights in the workplace by helping you file a lawsuit, or file a claim/charge with the proper organization to ensure that you can seek justice. An attorney will want to understand the pattern of behavior, the frequency of the behavior, how the behavior impacted you personally and professionally, and fully understand the relationship between you and the perpetrator of the sexual harassment. From there, a Cleveland sexual harassment defense attorney can help you file paperwork with either the Ohio Civil Rights Commission or the US Equal Opportunity Employment Commission.
If you choose to file a claim or charge with a state or federal commission, those organizations will conduct their own investigation about your claim. This is done on a case by case basis and can vary in time depending on the circumstances of your claim.
Both of these organizations are charged with enforcing anti-discrimination laws in the state of Ohio and ensure that businesses and personnel comply with sexual harassment laws both federally and at the state level. In 2016 the US Equal Opportunity Employment Commission saw 158 complaints, and the Ohio Civil Rights Commission received 165 sexual harassment charges in the same year.
The Importance of Reporting Sexual Harassment
People who sexually harass other people tend to have a pattern of behavior. Therefore it is important if you have been the victim of sexual harassment or sexual misconduct that you report that behavior in accordance with your employers sexual harassment policy. You must follow the reporting requirements of the sexual harassment policy and keep a copy of any statement you submit to the employer.
If the conduct to which you are being submitted or forced to endure is causing you significant emotional distress, it is advisable to seek help from a counselor with experience treating victims of sexual harassment.