Our Columbus Sexual Harassment Attorneys represent employees all over Ohio in sexual harassment cases and lawsuits. Do you feel harassed by your supervisors unwanted sexual advances or propositions related to your job? You could have a claim for workplace sexual harassment.
The Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Ohio Revised Code Chapter 4112 are employment laws that prohibit sexual harassment in the workplace. There are two types of sexual harassment claims. However, the line between them is not always clear and your case may involve both of these sexual harassment claims.
First – Quid Pro Quo Sexual Harassment
Quid Pro Quo translates to “something for something.” In order to prove a quid pro quo sexual harassment claim the employee must show:
(1) the employee is a member of a protected class (females and males can be protected);
(2) the employee is subject to unwelcome sexual advances or demands for sexual favors by someone with authority over the employee;
(3) the harassment complained of is based on sex;
(4) the employee’s agreement to the unwelcome advances or demands was an express or implied condition for receiving the job or job benefits or that the employee’s refusal to agree to a supervisor’s sexual demands resulted in a tangible job detriment; and
(5) that the actions can be attributed to the employer.
Second – Hostile Work Environment Sexual Harassment
To establish a hostile work environment sexual harassment claim, the employee must show that the conduct:
(1) was unwelcome
(2) was based on her or his sex
(3) was sufficiently severe or pervasive to alter the conditions of her or his employment and create an abusive work environment, and
(4) can be attributed to her or his employer.
Under the hostile work environment claim of sexual harassment, no economic or financial harm is required. Often times, sexual harassment involves emotional distress and anguish.
What is “Unwelcome” sexual conduct?
Employees can demonstrate that conduct is unwelcome by voicing their objection to it to the alleged harasser or to the employer. However, voicing your objection is not required. Also, the fact that sex-related conduct was “voluntary,” in that the employee was not forced to do it against her or his will, is not a defense for the employer.
When is sexual harassment conduct “Severe or Pervasive”?
What is offensive to one person may not be offensive to another. Here, the determination is based on an objective standard – a reasonable person in the same situation. Certain conduct may only happen one time but may be sufficient to be “severe” conduct, such as physical groping. Other conduct may not be overly offensive if done one time but if it happens so frequently that it becomes “pervasive” then this is also satisfied. For example, making a sexual joke on one occasion is probably not pervasive but daily jokes that go on over a period of time are likely pervasive.
How is sexual harassment conduct attributable to the Employer?
This is satisfied where harassment by a supervisor results in a tangible employment action, such as termination, demotion, or a reduction in pay. A tangible employment action is not always required though. An employer can be liable for sexual harassment where an employee makes a complaint about unwelcome sexual harassment and the employer fails to quickly take the proper action to correct the problem.
If you feel that you are being sexually harassed at work, it is important to contact an employer so you know what your rights are and how to best protect you and your job. Our sexual harassment attorneys are experienced in handling sexual harassment cases in Ohio and will put you at ease. We are compassionate and understanding about how difficult, or even humiliating, this situation can be.
For information regarding other forms of harassment, click here.
Our sexual harassment lawyers represent employees all over Ohio, including Columbus, Cleveland, Cincinnati, Toledo, Dayton, Marion, Athens and everywhere in between. Our central location in Columbus, Ohio makes it easy and convenient to represent employees everywhere in Ohio. Call us your Sexual Harassment Attorneys in Columbus, Ohio today!
Mansell Law is a top rated Sexual Harassment Law Firm.