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What laws protect me from sexual harassment in the workplace?

Best Sexual Harassment Attorney Answer: Under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, employees and applicants are protected from sexual harassment in the workplace. Sexual harassment, which is a form of gender discrimination under Title VII, can include unwelcome sexual advances, demands or requests for sexual favors, displays of pornographic material, explicit sexual conversations, and other verbal or physical harassment of a sexual nature. Quid pro quo sexual harassment occurs when a manager or supervisor offers or demands sexual favors in exchange for job benefits or job security, while a sexually hostile work environment occurs where overt inappropriate sexual conduct is so severe or pervasive as to make the workplace sexually charged and difficult to work in. (Best Law Read: What’s The Difference Between Quid Pro Quo And Hostile Work Environment Sexual Harassment?; What Is Quid Pro Quo Sexual Harassment? My Boss Wants To Be My Sugar Daddy!; What Qualifies A Hostile Work Environment Under Title VII?). Sexual harassment can originate from a boss, manager, owner or coworker. Sexual harassment can originate from members of the same or different sexes or sexual orientations. (Best Law Read: Yes, Straight Bosses Are Liable For Sex Harassing Lesbians).

What is an example of sexual harassment?

Best Sexually Hostile Work Environment Lawyer Answer: Soon after a female employees started working for Konos, Inc. as an egg inspector at its facility in Martin, Michigan, her manager, Selvin Castillo-Vasquez, sent her a text message seeking a sexual relationship. Although it should go without saying, no one – and especially managers and supervisors – should be texting sex requests to people they work with. It’s bad and wrong.

The woman worked politely declined the supervisor’s unwanted sexual advances and hoped that would be the end of it. Unfortunately, it was not. He continued to make sexual advances. As a result, she reported it to Human Resources (HR) and up the management ladder and hoped that would be the end of it. Unfortunately, it was not.

When the employer failed to take appropriate corrective actions to stop the sexual solicitation, the supervisor apparently felt that he could continue his sexual pursuit.

According to the lawsuit, the supervisor refused to take no for an answer and sexually assaulted the woman three times, including forcibly kissing, groping, and sexual touching her, including vaginal penetration – which constitutes rape.

The female employee filed a criminal complaint with the police and got a protective order. The supervisor was eventually prosecuted and convicted of fourth degree criminal sexual conduct.

When sued, “Defendant argues that Plaintiff has failed to allege specific facts demonstrating a hostile work environment based on sexual harassment.” Trial Court’s Ruling On Motion to Dismiss at 4. Really? The United States District Court for the Western District of Michigan rejected this argument.

Can my job retaliate for reporting sexual harassment?

Best Wrongful Termination Attorney Answer: Under Title VII, employees who report sexual harassment to human resources (HR) or up the chain of command are protected from retaliation and wrongful termination. (Best Law Read: Can My Boss Fire Me For Reporting His Sexual Harassment?). Under the anti-retaliation provision in Title VII, an employer cannot take any action against an employee that would dissuade any other employee from reporting or opposing sexual harassment. To establish a Title VII retaliation claim, an employee must present evidence that (1) he or she engaged in protected activity; (2) he or she suffered a materially adverse action; and (3) there is a causal link between the protected activity and the adverse action.

What is an example of unlawful retaliation for reporting sexual harassment in the workplace?

Best Employment Retaliation Lawyer Answer: When female worker reported the sexual assaults, the employer sent the woman home but did not do the same for the sexually harassing supervisor. This is retaliatory conduct in my view. (Best Law Read: Why Retaliation Is The Easiest Employment Claim ; How Do I Prove Illegal Retaliation By My Job Under Title VII?). After being sent home, the woman was never returned to work, which would be straight out wrongful termination or, at the very least a constructive discharge. (Best Law Read: What Does “Constructive Discharge” Mean?).

In response to the employer arguing that it did not retaliate, the District Court held: “With respect to the first element, a protected activity includes ‘complaining to anyone (management, unions, other employees, or newspapers) about allegedly unlawful practices.’ Johnson v. Univ. of Cincinnati, 215 F.3d 561, 578 (6th Cir. 2000). The Sixth Circuit has held that complaining about alleged harassment ‘to company management is classic opposition activity,’ protected by Title VII. Wasek v. Aarow Energy Services, Inc., 682 F.3d 463, 469 (6th Cir. 2012).” As to the second element, the District Court held that sending the female employee home following the report without pay was sufficient to establish an adverse action without out even getting to the issue of the wrongful termination. And as to the third element, the District Court concluded that the temporal proximity (closeness in time) between the report and sending her home was sufficient evidence of a causal link to send the issue to the jury.

What is a case for sexual harassment and retaliation worth?

Best Employment Trial Attorney Answer: Our sex harassment attorneys often warn clients and blog readers that every case is different, and you should consult an attorney regard the particular value of your case. That being said, this case against Konos is a bad example altogether. This case was settled by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) without any input from the employee who was raped by a boss after notifying the employer of escalating issues and retaliated against after reporting the assults. That’s right, the EEOC decided when and for how much to settle. (Best Law Read: Don’t File With The EEOC On Your Own; Read This Before Filing An EEOC Charge). So, on its own, the EEOC decided to settle with the egg company, which has $8.34 million in revenue per year, for $175,000. Given the facts of the case, the fact that the District Court had already indicated that it would not dismiss the case before trial, and the net worth of the employer as well as the fact that the criminal conviction would have been admissible at trial, this seems very undervalued to me.

To add insult to the harassed, raped and fired employee, the EEOC issued a press release that reads: “Konos should be commended for agreeing to compensate this employee…” You have got to be freaking kidding me. The EEOC is commending an employer after it ignored all reports of sexual harassment, took no corrective action that resulted in it escalating to three instances of sexual assault, and then agreed to pay less than then cost of its defense as a business decision? (Best Law Read: What Is The Cost To Defend An Employment Lawsuit?). Then, the EEOC gives the employer free promotion and a backlink to its website – which is incredibly valuable from a government website: “According to its website, [link removed from quote], Konos, Inc. has been an egg producer for over 70 years. The company has hundreds of employees working in Western Michigan.”

Do you know what was missing from the press release? The EEOC did not commend the employee for having the courage to oppose sexual harassment or to file with the EEOC. It does not mention the help that the employee provided in giving testimony as part of the litigation. And it fails to mention how the sexually harassed employee felt about the settlement agreed to without her consent. If this does not establish that the EEOC has its own agenda that cares very little about what the employee wants, I don’t know what else would.

Should I report sexual harassment directly to the EEOC or get an attorney?

Best Employment Lawyer Answer: Consult an attorney. Attorneys have a fiduciary duty to give you proper advice and look out for your best interests. The EEOC does not and has its own agenda in the unlikely event that it will even take your case. Unless the statute of limitations on your discrimination claim is going to pass, schedule a free consultation with an employment law attorney to find out your rights. You will be better served having qualified counsel guide and protect you through the EEOC and litigation process. So, if you have sexually harassed at work or fired for reporting you manager’s sex harassment, call the right attorney at Spitz, The Employee’s Law Firm to schedule a free and confidential consultation. (Read: What is the Spitz No Fee Guarantee?) Call our lawyers in Cleveland, Columbus, Toledo, Cincinnati, Detroit, and Raleigh to get legal help that will put you first. Spitz, The Employee’s Law Firm and its experienced attorneys are dedicated to protecting employees’ rights and solving employment disputes.


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