Working in a Hostile Work Environment and Have a Sexual Harassment Case?
Consult a Dallas Sexual Harassment Lawyer
Sexual harassment came to the forefront in the United States during the confirmation hearing of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas in 1991. Anita Hill testified that he sexually harassed her, and thousands of others began to claim sexual harassment and a hostile work environment. That year, the number of sexual harassment claims in the work place increased 58 percent higher than in the previous year. The percentage continues to climb.
As plaintiffs can collect an average of $250,000, not including attorney’s fees and litigation costs, both employers and employees take the issue of sexual harassment seriously. We all have our old-fashioned definitions of sexual harassment and a hostile work environment. If you believe you have a claim, consult a Dallas sexual harassment attorney at the Law Offices of Dan A. Atkerson.
The Definition of Hostile Work Environment
According to current legislation, there are two types of sexual harassment:
- Quid pro quo harassment, meaning “This for that” occurs when a superior threatens to fire or refuses to promote a subordinate if he/she rejects him/her sexual advances. That is, if an employee refuses to have sex with his/her boss, the boss fires him/her and passes him/her over for a promotion.
- Hostile work environment harassment occurs when speech or behavior is “severe or persuasive” enough to result in a hostile or abusive environment. This translates into off-color jokes, sexually explicit e-mail, sexually explicit screen savers, posters or graffiti and unnecessary verbal and physical contact, such as brushing alongside someone with wandering hands. In the eyes of the court, a hostile work environment is prevalent when the common person placed in a similar circumstance would find it offensive.
Sexual Harassment Today
Due to the increased sensitivity of gender issues and hate crimes, many companies offer diversity workshops to their employees to diffuse the situation and lead to a less hostile work environment. As both an employer and employee, ask a Dallas sexual harassment lawyer at the Law Offices of Dan A. Atkerson to advise you how to recognize sexual harassment, how to prevent it and what to do when victimized.