Sexual Harassment

Working Without Fear of Sexual Harassment

No worker should ever have to experience sexual harassment. However, sexual harassment occurs throughout offices and workplaces all across the country. While sexual harassment is one of the most well known forms of employment discrimination, it may be hard for a worker to recognize whether he or she has been a target of sexual harassment. If you believe that you have experienced sexual harassment in your workplace, we encourage you to contact one of our Tennessee employment lawyers.

Identifying Sexual Harassment in the Workplace

While some conduct can obviously be identified as sexual harassment, other conduct may be more difficult for a worker to determine whether he or she has been a victim of sexual harassment. Conduct of a sexual nature can constitute sexual harassment when any of these conditions apply:

  • Submission to the conduct is a condition of the worker’s employment
  • Submission to or the rejection of the conduct serves as a basis for determining employment decisions
  • The conduct unreasonably interferes with the worker’s performance
  • The conduct creates an intimidating work environment for the worker
Examples of Sexual Harassment in the Workplace

While the definition provides the criteria for what sexual harassment is, it may be difficult for a worker to determine whether or not this conduct has taken place. Some examples of sexual harassment may include but are not limited to:

  • Advances, insults, or other similar behavior that are sexual in nature
  • Sexual coercion, threats, or pressure
  • Using sexually-oriented or sexually-suggestive nicknames
  • Suggesting that sexual favors should be given to ensure job security, higher pay, etc.
  • Any unwanted physical contact that may include patting, squeezing, tickling, brushing, etc.
  • Showing the worker any pictures or materials that are sexual in nature

If you have experienced any of these actions in your workplace resulting in any feeling of coercion or any adverse employment action, you may have a sexual harassment claim.

Things a Worker Should Do After Experiencing Sexual Harassment

Upon experiencing unwelcomed actions in your workplace, it is important that you document the conduct and report it to your supervisor or someone else in a position of authority. If you have any evidence of sexual harassment like emails, text messages, notes, etc., you should also provide these to your supervisor. You should specifically follow your company’s specified procedures for reporting sexual harassment if your company or workplace has these procedures in place. If your supervisor or other managerial figure is the person who is harassing you, you should document the action and report it to an individual who ranks above your supervisor. Keeping a copy of any sexual harassment notice given to your employer is also very important. If corrective action is not taken or if any adverse employment action has taken place, Tennessee employment lawyers at The Higgins Firm can assist you with your claim.

Requirements for a Filing a Sexual Harassment Claim in Tennessee

Tennessee requires that certain steps be taken for a sexual harassment claim. The worker must file a federal cause of action with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission within 300 days. Also, the worker must file a state cause of action within one year. The worker may also need to take additional steps depending on the claim. An employment lawyer from The Higgins Firm can help you with any questions that you may have from a sexual harassment claim.

If you have experienced sexual harassment in your workplace, we encourage you to contact The Higgins Firm.