Sexual Harassment - An Overview

Sexual harassment is not a joke. While to some it may seem like harmless horseplay, it deprives others of dignity and equality. Victims of sexual harassment have well-established rights under federal law and, in many cases, under state law. A knowledgeable employment law attorney from The Amlong Firm in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, can advise you on protecting your rights.

Sexual Harassment Is Discrimination

Sexual harassment is a form of gender-based discrimination. Sexual harassment may consist of sexual requests from a superior tied to the quality of the employee's job or benefits, or it can be the inappropriate behavior of one or more co-workers. It is forbidden by federal civil rights law and by numerous state anti-discrimination laws. These laws give you specific rights and remedies if you experience sexual harassment in the workplace.

Sexual harassment is not just illegal; it is harmful. The most common injuries suffered by victims of sexual harassment are emotional. Victims of sexual harassment often feel powerless, developing low self-esteem. In some cases, they believe that they are to blame for the harassment or for letting it go on as long as it did.

Sexual harassment can cause a serious financial burden as well. An employee may be denied a raise or passed over for a promotion because he or she refused a superior's sexual demands. The employee may even give up a job rather than continue to work in a hostile environment.

Victims' Rights

Sexual harassment is about power at least as much as it is about sex. Your harasser may have told you that you are powerless to stop the harassment. Your harasser is wrong: There is much that you can do to stop harassment. The law gives you the power and the tools you need to fight back against harassment. File a complaint with your employer about sexual harassment. If your complaint does not bring results, file a claim with the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) or your state's human rights or civil rights agency. Seek a lawyer's help. You may have the right to receive compensation for your injuries, whether they are financial, emotional or both.

You also have the right to be free from retaliation by your employer. Federal law protects employees who make complaints about sexual harassment (or about other illegal conduct or discrimination) from retaliation by their employers.

Speak To An Employment Law Attorney

You do not have to tolerate sexual harassment. You have the right to be treated with respect and dignity. You should settle for nothing less, especially at your workplace. If you are a victim of sexual harassment, there are many things you can do to stand up for your rights. An experienced employment law attorney from The Amlong Firm in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, can help you take action.

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