Employment Attorneys‘ Best Answers: How do I stop my boss from sexually harassing me? What is sexual harassment? What should I do if my boss tells me that women cannot do my job?
I came across this headline while reviewing employment news this weekend: “State to pay $99,999 Over Capitol Police Sexual Harassment Suit.” And, I could picture the negotiations. The employee’s lawyer says the sexual harassment suit will not settle for anything less than $100,000, and the employer’s attorneys balk saying that this is not a six figure case. So, they go back and forth until they agree to settle $1 less than that six figure mark. Sure, the employer got the moral and psychological victory of bringing the case in under that line in the sand, but what did it cost them to get there? Let’s guess that there was at least a half hour of posturing, haggling and negations between the lawyers; twenty minutes in updating the client and strategic planning on how to get the case settled for less; and another ten to fifteen minutes updating the attorneys’ files and writing emails. If my math is correct – which is never a certainty with attorneys – that amounts to about an hour of additional time, assuming that no other legal work was done on the case unrelated to the negotiations. That means that the employer paid an additional $175 to $250 (typical small firm defense rates), or more to save a buck. Brilliant! And, you wonder how these smart employers get themselves into this kind of trouble. Then the employer, the State of Nevada, makes this genius comment: the settlement “will save the taxpayers money.” Of course, no one is talking about how much it would have saved the tax payers to pay an extra buck or to settle for a little more by settling the sexual harassment case earlier and save even more attorney’s fees.
You might be surprised by this, but the words coming out of these politicians mouths are not exactly honest. The state and other defendants denies that they told the woman officer that women could not do the job and that she should have been a “stay-at-home mom” or that she should look for a job at McDonald’s. They also denied that one of her coworkers talked about having sex with her and rubbed up against her in a sexual way. Even ignoring the settlement, their denials come into doubt when the State fired the sexual talking harasser and disciplined four of the other participating officers.
Pursuant to Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, sexual harassment is a type of gender discrimination that is further defined as unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sex or sexual favors, and other conduct, either verbal or physical, of a sexual nature that adversely affects the employees ability to work. Sexual harassment can be either quid pro quo sexual harassment (“this for that”) or hostile work environment sex harassment. Both federal and Ohio sexual harassment law protect all employees from being sexually harassed in the work place. The person responsible for creating such a sexually charged and hostile atmosphere can be a boss, coworker, or even a non-employee (i.e., a customer or an independent contractor). Sexually harassing behavior might entitle the victim to legal recourse through a sex harassment claim or, if needed, sexual harassment lawsuit against the employer and/or a supervisor that participated or ignored such unlawful conduct. These laws also protect an employee from complaining about illegal gender discrimination or sexual harassment, or participating into an investigation into such conduct.
If you feel that you are being sexually harassed or are working in a sexually charged or hostile working environment, you should not wait to call the right attorney at 866-797-6040 to schedule a free and confidential consultation. At The Spitz Law Firm, you will meet with a sexual harassment lawyer/hostile work environment attorney to find out what your legal rights are and the best way to protect them. Sexual harrassment is a form of gender discrimination, and employers should be held accountable if they discriminate against female workers in any fashion – but particularly for sexual harrassment. It does not matter if you have been wrongfully fired or are still employed, there is no reason to wait to find out what your legal rights are and how to protect yourself from sexual harassment and gender discrimination. It does not matter if you have been wrongfully fired or are still employed, there is no reason to wait to find out what your legal rights are and how to protect yourself from sexual harassment and gender discrimination.
The materials available at the top of this page and at this gender discrimination, wrongful termination, and sex harassment law website are for informational purposes only and not for the purpose of providing legal advice. If you are still asking “what should I do …”, “I’m being sexually harassed …” “my supervisor grabbed my…”, “my boss is touching…,” “I’ve been wrongfully terminated,” or “how do I …”, your best course is to contact an Ohio sexual harassment attorney/hostile work environment lawyer to obtain advice with respect to sexual harassment/hostile work environment questions or any particular employment law issue. Use and access to this employment law website or any of the links contained within the site do not create an attorney-client relationship. The legal opinions expressed at the top of this page or through this employment law website are the opinions of the individual lawyer and may not reflect the opinions of The Spitz Law Firm, Brian Spitz, or any individual attorney.