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How Do I Prove That I Was Sexually Harassed At Work By My Boss? Help, I Need The Best Sex Harassment Lawyer In Ohio!

| Sep 15, 2016 | Employment Discrimination, gender-discrimination, Sexual Harassment |

Best Ohio Sexual Harassment Lawyer Reply: Is it sexual harassment if my manager keeps asking me out and I keep telling him to stop? What should I do if my co-worker keeps touching my butt and groping my breasts? Can I sue for wrongful termination if I was fired today for reporting my supervisor for trying to kiss me and for sexual harassment?

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With our years of experience working with employment discrimination and wrongful termination, our employment attorneys have seen many shocking things, especially when it comes to sexual harassment cases. This includes bosses that threaten to fire (or do fire) their employees if they will not consent to sex, and bosses and co-workers who think they can get away with touching , grabbing, and groping employees who do not want to be touched. Many of these cases get resolved before they ever get litigated because they are scandalous and embarrassing, especially when the boss is married to someone else.

Our employment discrimination blog readers already know that sexual harassment in the workplace is a type of gender discrimination that violates both Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Ohio Revised Code 4112. As our employment lawyers have previously discussed, unlawful sexual harassment may be either in the form of quid pro quo harassment or hostile work environment. Quid pro quo sexual harassment occurs when (1) an employee is subjected to unwelcome sexual harassment, be that in the form of sexual advances or requests for sexual favors; (2) the harassment is unwelcome; (3) submission to the harassment is a condition for receiving job benefits, or refusal to submit would result in termination or denial of job benefits; (4) the harasser was a supervisor or agent of the employer; (5) the employee was harmed; and (6) the harassment caused the employee’s harm. (See Can I Be Fired For Refusing To Have Sex With My Boss?; and Can I Sue If My Boss Texted Me That I Have To Have Sex With Him?). Hostile work environment sexual harassment occurs when a victim employee (1) was subjected to unwanted harassment; (2) the harassment was based on sex; and (3) the harassment was so severe or pervasive that it altered the conditions of employment. (See Can I Sue My Same Sex Boss For Sexual Harassment?; Does My Boss Need To Stop My Sexually Harassing Coworker?; Can I Sue My Job For Sexual Harassment By Customers Or Coworkers?)

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That said, occasionally our sexual harassment lawyers come by a case that still shocks us. A recent case in the Northern District of Ohio, Barhouma v Athenian Assisted Living, Ltd., is one of these shocking cases. The reason it is shocking, is that it is such a textbook example of hostile work environment sexual harassment, it has left us scratching our heads trying to figure out how the employer is going to defend this one. The employee, Marie Barhouma, worked at Athenian Assisted Living as activities director. Marie’s boss, was Edmund Gates, and Gate’s uncle, Livingston was Maintenance Director at Athenian. Unfortunately for Marie, Livingston took a liking to her and asked her out almost daily. Livingston would kiss, grab, and rub against Marie. Livingston even placed his hands under Marie’s shirt and placed his hand under her panties. In most cases, it would become a case of he-said, she-said, and it would be up to the jury to determine whether these things really happened or not. But here, multiple nurses from Athenian testified that they witnessed Livingston make these advances and Marie asking him to stop. The problem arose when Marie complained about Livingston to Gates, or should we say Livingston’s nephew? After Marie complained, Gates wrote her up twice, and then fired her. When Gates fired Marie, he stated that he was tired of hearing the rumors about Marie and Livingston around the building. The defendants are trying to claim that Marie and Livingston “enjoyed a mutual friendship” and that she was terminated for “poor performance.” Good luck getting a jury to believe that with the testimony of the nurse witnesses.

Remember, I said this was a perfect example of hostile work environment sexual harassment. However, this is not quid pro quo sexual harassment because Livingston did not have any supervisory control over Marie. Recall that the fourth element is “the harasser was a supervisor or agent of the employer.” But wait, Livingston’s nephew was Marie’s boss, wouldn’t that count? Unfortunately, the court decided it did not. The court explained “a quid pro quo claim of harassment can rest on an alleged harasser’s authority to influence an adverse employment decision, if that influence is so significant that the harasser may be deemed the de facto decision maker.” Thus to win under a quid pro quo theory, Marie would need to establish that “Livingston had more than mere “influence” or “input” in the decision-making process.” The Court did not believe that Marie did not have any evidence that this was the case, thus the quid pro quo claim failed.

Sexual harassment is unlawful under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and similar Ohio laws. Sexual harassment is a form of gender discrimination. 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 (216) 291-4744 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.

Disclaimer:

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.