Harassment in all its forms can be a traumatic event that makes coming to work an anxiety-inducing, dreaded event and cause an employee’s job performance to suffer. It can also inflict physical and emotional damage on the victim of unlawful harassment such as depression, suicidal thoughts, PTSD, and panic attacks. Federal and state laws prohibit harassment in the workplace.

Unfortunately, harassment and misconduct continue to occur. If you have been the victim of workplace harassment, contact the experienced employment law attorneys of Walton Law to see if you may be entitled to damages.

What is Unlawful Harassment?

To sue for harassment on your behalf, our lawyers will need to show that you were harassed because you either:

  • Engaged in some type of protected conduct, or
  • You were part of a specifically named protected class.

You should call a lawyer if you suspect you were harassed for one of these reasons; in some cases, the defendant doesn’t admit the reason for the misconduct, which is why it is crucial to seek seasoned legal representation.

Violation of Workplace Harassment Standards

Harassment can involve unwanted comments or conduct towards a person based on their protected trait. Under federal law, it can be the basis for suing if it becomes severe or persistent enough that a reasonable person would find it altered the work environment and made it hostile, intimidating, or offensive.

Petty annoyances, isolated instances that are not extremely serious, and slights are not enough to violate federal law. However, some state law tends to take a slightly more lenient approach to workplace harassment. It is important to talk to our seasoned lawyers about whether you have a viable claim based on your unique circumstances.

Protected Classes Defined

Several classes of people are protected based on race, gender, religion, and other traits under federal and state laws. You should not be the target of harassment based on your:

  • Religion,
  • Disability,
  • Gender, sexual preference, or sexual conduct, or
  • Race,
  • National origin or culture – including accent, hygienic practices, or cultural dress

Sexual Harassment

Sexual harassment is unique in the fact that it typically still results in the creation of a hostile work environment for the victimized employee, and it may be done with the additional purpose of sexually exploiting the employee in some way.

Sometimes sexual harassment results in a hostile work environment through behavior such as: crude sexual gestures, unwanted sexual advantages, sexually explicit joke, sexually suggestive comments about another employee’s clothes or body, or unwanted touching.

Quid Pro Quo Harassment

Quid pro quo harassment takes place between the employee and either a supervisor or someone who has a position of power over the victim. When it occurs, the person in power often pressures the employee to enter an exchange of sexual conduct for benefits on the job.

Steps to Take if You Are Being Harassed At Work

If you are being harassed at work, it is important you put your employer on notice and allow them the chance to correct the behavior. Use whatever procedure is in place at work for reporting the behavior; typically your employee handbook will specify a procedure.

Make sure your report is written and keep a copy of the email or written document you submitted. It may also be helpful to keep a personal journal documenting the harassment and details such as dates, specific language used, and witness names. You’ll be asked to recount details later, so it’s helpful to have a way to refresh your memory.

Speak to an Employment Attorney Today About Whether You Have a Claim

If you were subject to harassment in the workplace, you know how frustrating and detrimental it can be to your health and well-being.

Call the trustworthy employment attorneys at Walton Law, APC at (866) 338-7079 or complete our contact form for a free, confidential case review to determine whether you have viable grounds to seek compensation. We take cases on a contingency fee basis.