Can You Sue a Company for Sexual Harassment?
Can You Sue a Company for Sexual Harassment?
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Can You Sue a Company for Sexual Harassment?
Sexual harassment is a common problem in many workplaces, unfortunately. But victims of this type of behavior should not have to bear the burdens of harassment on their own.
With the rise of cultural movements that focus on sexual misconduct, victims might be left to wonder about their own rights. If you have experienced inappropriate behavior, can you sue a company for sexual harassment? Read on to find out.
In the aftermath of an incident of sexual harassment, it is normal to feel confused, angry, and overwhelmed. Victims often have concerns about their rights and options.
The biggest question is, “Can you sue a company for sexual harassment?” Aside from filing a lawsuit, there are many things that can be done to prevent incidents of misconduct in the workplace.
If you or someone you love has been the victim of sexual harassment, it is important to speak with a legal expert. Having a skilled representative will ensure that your rights and interests are protected.
The accomplished tort attorneys at Morgan & Morgan have decades of experience fighting for our clients. Our lawyers have the skills and knowledge to effectively represent sexual harassment victims.
It is important to hold individuals and companies accountable. To schedule a no-cost legal evaluation, fill out the contact form on the Morgan & Morgan website today.
What Is Sexual Harassment?
Sexual harassment in the workplace is a type of discrimination. This type of unconscionable action violates Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act.
Under the law, sexual harassment is defined to include unwelcome requests for sexual favors, unwanted sexual advances, or other unwarranted physical or verbal conduct of a sexual nature. To qualify as harassment, this type of behavior must affect the victim’s employment or job performance.
Discrimination can result in a hostile work environment for victims. It often leaves victims wondering, “When can you sue a company for sexual harassment?”
There are two primary categories of workplace sexual harassment. These are known as “quid pro quo” and “hostile work environment” cases.
Quid Pro Quo Harassment
This type of sexual harassment involves a “this for that” exchange. This happens when a manager, supervisor, or other superior says that an employee will receive benefits in exchange for sexual activity.
For example, suppose that a manager implies that they will provide a promotion or raise to a worker for sexual contact. This would qualify as an instance of quid pro quo harassment.
However, the workplace authority figure does not have to offer benefits to the victim. When a superior threatens an employee with a reprimand or firing unless they provide sexual benefits, this also qualifies as quid pro quo.
Finally, this type of harassment can take place during the hiring process. When the hiring party offers a position on the condition of sexual favors, the applicant has experienced sexual harassment.
If you have been the victim of quid pro quo harassment, it is critical to reach out to a legal expert. The skilled lawyers at Morgan & Morgan will work tirelessly to secure justice in your sexual harassment case.
Can you sue a company for sexual harassment? With the help of Morgan & Morgan, you can.
Hostile Work Environment Harassment
The other primary type of sexual misconduct is known as “hostile work environment” harassment. This type of harassment is defined as any type of conduct that interferes with work and is directed toward someone because of their sex.
Behavior that creates an offensive or intimidating environment for workers qualifies as hostile workplace harassment. Some of the most common examples of hostile work environment harassment include:
- Unwanted touching or physical contact
- Unwanted sexual advances
- Gender-related jokes or teasing
- Sexual, lewd, or inappropriate jokes or comments
- Inappropriate gestures or non-verbal communication
- Displaying or sharing sexually explicit material
- Offensive comments about someone’s body, appearance, or clothing
These are only a few examples of hostile work environment harassment. Any type of conduct that interferes with an employee’s work and creates an uncomfortable workplace may qualify.
If you or a coworker have experienced any of the following, you may be the victim of this type of sexual harassment:
- Emotionally difficult situations in the workplace
- Inability to perform required job-related tasks
- Decreased sense of personal well-being at work
When your workplace is hostile because of a coworker’s behavior, you have legal recourse. You may be wondering, “Can you sue a company for sexual harassment?”
With the help of the qualified attorneys at Morgan & Morgan, you can pursue financial compensation for the discrimination that you experienced. Our team understands how to build successful sexual harassment lawsuits to recover maximum financial recovery for our clients.
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How Can You Sue a Company for Sexual Harassment?
Even if you know that you are the victim of sexual harassment, you may be unsure about how to bring legal action against the offending company. When you are hoping to file a sexual harassment lawsuit, make sure to take the following steps:
Do Not Stay Silent
It is important to speak up about your experience of sexual harassment. Although it does not excuse the behavior, some perpetrators are unaware that their behavior is offensive.
Bring your discomfort to the attention of the perpetrator. In some cases, this will be enough to get the behavior to stop.
Whether the person stops or continues the inappropriate behavior, you should also follow the company’s internal protocols for sexual harassment.
Follow Your Company’s Protocol
Although it is unfair that victims must take these actions, it is important to follow your company's internal guidelines for sexual harassment. This will make it more likely that a future lawsuit will succeed.
Even if your company does not solve the problem internally, it is crucial to have a record of reporting the behavior. Most large companies will have specific guidelines for reporting inappropriate behavior.
For example, most corporations allow employees to file formal complaints through the Human Resources department.
Oftentimes, the business will collect the following information about your situation:
- How long the harassment has been occurring
- The nature of the behavior
- The number of individual incidents
- And more
If your company makes an internal report of the misconduct, make sure to request a copy. If you decide to sue, your attorney will use this internal report as evidence.
Keep Notes About the Harassment
While it is uncomfortable, you should take notes to help you remember the dates and nature of the harassment you experience. You should also record who you spoke with about the behavior and any other actions that you took.
Over time, it may become difficult to remember specific details. Keeping detailed notes will help your lawyer to build a powerful case on your behalf.
Contact a Sexual Harassment Attorney
Finally, it is critical to speak with a lawyer as soon as possible. A legal professional can help to ensure that you build the strongest case possible.
The legal experts at Morgan & Morgan understand the many challenges that victims of sexual harassment face. Our lawyers will walk you through every step of filing a sexual harassment lawsuit.
Common Damages in Sexual Harassment Cases
When you file a successful sexual harassment lawsuit, the financial compensation that you receive is known as your “damages.” The types and amounts of damages that you are awarded will depend on many factors of your case.
Some damages are intended to make up for the direct financial losses that resulted from the harassment. Other kinds of damages are meant to punish the offending party for reprehensible behavior.
Back Pay and Front Pay
When someone is denied a promotion or raise as the result of sexual harassment, they may be owed back pay. This type of damages compensates the victim for the earnings and benefits that they lost because of the harassment. This may include:
- The value of benefits
- Sick and vacation pay
- Stocks and other assets
In sexual harassment cases, you may also be owed “front pay.” This is a type of compensation meant to make up for the payments that the victim will miss out on in the future because of the harassment.
Punitive damages are not intended to make up for the victim’s losses or suffering. Instead, this type of payment is meant to punish companies that do not take appropriate action to stop harassment.
Suppose that your employer was aware that you were experiencing harassment but did nothing. In this case, you may be awarded punitive damages.
To calculate the value of your sexual harassment claim, reach out to one of the skilled tort attorneys at Morgan & Morgan. We will review the facts of your harassment case and fight for maximum compensation for you.
How Much Is a Legal Consultation?
Like all trustworthy personal injury law firms, Morgan & Morgan proudly provides new clients with a no-cost case evaluation. When you contact us, we will schedule a legal consultation to review the facts of your case.
During this initial meeting, we will answer any questions you have. We will also provide you with an assessment of your legal claim.
You should never meet with a firm that requires upfront payments. Contact Morgan & Morgan to arrange your no-obligation initial consultation.
Are There Limits on Punitive Damages in Sexual Harassment Cases?
Under federal law, victims of sexual harassment can only recover a certain amount in punitive and compensatory damages. The limits of compensatory and punitive damages are:
- Companies with 15-100 employees – $50,000
- Companies with 101-200 employees – $100,000
- Companies with 201-500 employees – $200,000
- Companies with over 500 employees – $300,000
Different states set these limits differently. To explore possible damages in your case, reach out to America’s largest personal injury firm–Morgan & Morgan.
Morgan & Morgan Fights for Harassment Victims
When you need the best sexual harassment attorneys available, reach out to the firm at Morgan & Morgan. Since our founding, our attorneys have won and settled over a million claims.
As a result of our successful track record, Morgan & Morgan has secured more than $15 billion in financial recovery for our clients. We will fight tirelessly to get justice in your sexual harassment case.
Do not allow negligent companies to ignore or downplay instances of workplace misconduct. The attorneys at Morgan & Morgan can help.
To arrange a no-cost legal consultation, fill out the contact form on our website. Let our legal experts recover compensation for you.