It is difficult to make a list of all of the types of conduct which could be classified as sexual harassment because the sick people who perpetrate this illegal conduct seem to be able to think of new ways to harass on a regular basis. We also seem to see a pattern of this type of behavior in that individuals who are perpetrators of the harassment often have directed it toward multiple victims. So when you speak out, you may seek justice not only for yourself, but you may help other victims, or potential victims, as well.
Employees are often fearful of reporting sexual harassment because they fear retaliation, or are embarrassed, or confused. Some work places create an environment which actually encourages this type of conduct.
If you find yourself questioning whether you’ve been a victim of sexual harassment, understand that you are not alone, and that sexual harassment, whether it’s verbal or physical, is never acceptable. Likewise, touching another person in private areas without their permission is never acceptable, and is an indicator that the harasser is suffering from mental illness. We have seen this type of abnormal behavior cause severe damage to individuals that we have represented. Sexual harassment may be same sex harassment, and we have handled several of these kinds of cases as well. We’ve also seen sexual harassment which included sending unwelcome inappropriate photographs.
From a technical standpoint, sexual harassment in employment law is generally conduct which is considered sexual discrimination under title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 or, in Tennessee, violation of the Tennessee Human Rights Act. Sexual harassment may take the form of sexual advances, request for sexual favors, and other conduct, either verbal or physical, in which a person’s employment is affected because it unreasonably interferes with work performance by creating a hostile work environment.
We have handled a number of these kinds of cases successfully, and believe that the number of instances in which this happens is growing. If you have a question about your rights or believe that you have been sexually harassed, give us a call or send us a message.