Harassment is generally a form of discrimination. It is either a severe occurrence or a consistent and repetitive occurrence. There are multiple kinds of harassment. It often involves verbal or physical attacks based on an individual’s gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, or other characteristics. Harassment can cause the individual to feel uncomfortable in the workplace or fear for their safety.
Quid Pro Quo Harassment
Quid pro quo harassment usually comes from a person in a position of authority. It involves a “this for that” perspective, such as offering a promotion or raise in exchange for a sexual favor. It can also work in the opposite direction, like threatening to fire the employee or withholding a promotion if they refuse to perform a sexual favor.
Hostile Work Environment
This type of harassment occurs when consistent behavior creates a hostile work environment. Repetitive derogatory jokes, racist insults, sexual comments, and more can all create a hostile work environment. Behaviors that can reasonably make the individual feel unsafe or uncomfortable may constitute as harassment.
What to Do
Though it may be the last thing you want to do, you must talk to the person who is harassing you. To successfully win a harassment case, you must prove that the behavior was unwanted. This is easier to prove if you have explicitly stated that the behavior was unwanted.
If the harassment occurs in the workplace, it is also necessary to inform your workplace of the situation. If the workplace fails to address the situation, you may be able to sue the entire corporation rather than just the individual person. Not informing your workplace may limit your options for seeking retribution.
You should seek legal guidance when you are contemplating pursuing a harassment lawsuit. If you think you may be experiencing harassment, contact us at LeBaron & Jensen today!