Sexual Harassment Attorney Philadelphia


For Over 25 Year, Our Experienced Philadelphia Sexual Harassment Lawyers Have Worked to Battle Sex Discrimination and Harassment in the Workplace.

Sexual Harassment in Philadelphia is the unwelcome sexual advances or comments from a company CEO, supervisor, manager, fellow employee, company associate, or customer against an employee or job applicant. It can be verbal or written and direct or indirect. It can happen to a male or female and between people of the same sex or different sexes. It is a form of sex discrimination in the workplace, and it is illegal.

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What Is Sexual Harassment in the Workplace in Philadelphia?

Sexual harassment in Philadelphia is a form of sex discrimination. It occurs when an employer, supervisor, co-worker, associate, or client makes unwelcome sexual advances or comments against an employee or job applicant. Here are some facts about sexual harassment that can help you better understand what makes you a victim of sexual harassment:

  • Sexual harassment can occur between a man and a woman or people of the same sex
  • Sexual harassment can happen in the workplace or outside of the workplace at a company function or event
  • Sexual harassment can include verbal statements, criminal sexual actions, stalking, written communications, and unwanted sexual actions or advances
  • A sexually explicit photo can be sexual harassment
  • A sexually explicit joke can be sexual harassment
  • Sexual harassment can occur at any time, even when there is a relationship between two people in a work environment
  • Sexual harassment can come from anyone in the workplace, regardless of whether they are your boss or supervisor
  • Sexual harassment can include gender-based terms that you may find offensive. These terms may consist of “Honey,” “Sweetheart,” “Babe,” “Hun,” “Darling,” or any other word of a similar nature
  • A comment or action can be unwelcome, even if a person consents. He or she may “go along to get along.”

What Types of Sexual Harassment Occur in the Workplace in Philadelphia?

There are two types of sexual harassment claims that can occur in the workplace.

  • Quid Pro Quo. Quid pro quo literally means “this for that.” This phrase says it is a favor for a favor.  Under this type of claim, employment advances are given for sexual acts or favors.

For instance, you may refuse a sexual advance. In turn, your boss may deny you the assignment you have been working towards for months. Retaliation, such as termination, or denying an assignment or promotion, for rejecting sexual advances can be a quid pro quo action.

  • Hostile Work Environment. A hostile work environment is when unwanted comments or sexual conduct unreasonably interferes with the workplace. Your ability to properly do your job is compromised.

For instance, constant, sexually explicit jokes can drastically alter your working conditions. As a result, you are now working in a hostile work environment. A hostile work environment can also include:

  • Sexual advances
  • Inappropriate and unwelcome touching
  • Emailing pornography or sexually explicit comics and jokes
  • Stalking
  • Any other unwanted sexual behavior that is not a quid pro quo action.

What Are Examples of Sexual Harassment in the Workplace in Philadelphia?

Sexual harassment in the Philadelphia workplace can come out in many different ways. The most important thing to remember is that any and all sexual advances, comments, or contact that is unwanted, at any time, is sexual harassment and is illegal. Some examples include:

  • Unwelcomed physical contact, including massaging shoulders, intentionally rubbing against another employee, slapping someone’s buttocks or touching someone’s hair
  • Displaying or emailing pornographic videos or images among co-workers
  • Asking for sex or sexual favors in exchange for employment advancement or benefits
  • Gay or Lesbian sexual harassment
  • Sending unwanted messages of a sexual nature (e.g. emails, chats, inter-office letters or notes)
  • Sexism in the workplace
  • Continuing to ask for a date after you have been told NO
  • Making inappropriate sexual jokes
  • Making inappropriate sexual gestures or comments which bring attention to a person’s body
  • Same Sex harassment
  • Offering sexual gifts or favors
  • Demanding physical contact such as a hug, kiss, massage, etc.
  • Attempting to perform gay or lesbian sex acts with an employee or co-worker
  • Retaliation against someone for denying sexual advances
  • Being harassed because of your sexual orientation
  • Stalking
  • Criminal sexual acts, such as rape
  • Unwelcomed requests for sex
  • Spreading sexual lies or rumors about a person that denied sexual advances
  • Asking sexual questions about another employee’s or job applicant’s sexual history or sexual orientation.
  • Sexual Coercion
  • Sexual bribery

What Evidence Is Needed to Prove Sexual Harassment in the Workplace in Philadelphia?

Workplace sexual harassment in Philadelphia is rarely just one incident unless it is a criminal act. Therefore, you must gather evidence to show a pattern of this behavior. Keeping well-documented notes will only help your case in and out of the courtroom. Make sure to record:

  • Each specific incident of sexual harassment
  • The people directly and indirectly involved in the incident
  • All offensive conversations or remarks
  • Emails or memos you have received (keep a separate folder with this information and save everything in writing)
  • Complaints you made, when, to whom, what you said
  • The response to your complaint
  • Any reactions to the alleged sexual harassment
  • How the incident made you feel
  • How the event affected work performance
  • How the event changed your general well-being

What Is the Statute of Limitations to File a Sexual Harassment Claim in Philadelphia?

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) monitors claims under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act. The EEOC gives you 300 days from the date of the last incident of harassment to file your claim.

Once the EEOC receives the claim, they will investigate. If they find enough cause for an allegation of sexual harassment, they will issue a Right to Sue letter. You then have 90 days to file a complaint in federal court.

The Pennsylvania Commission of Human Rights (PA CHR) governs the Pennsylvania the events that occur under the PAHRA. The commission provides victims of sexual harassment in the workplace in Pennsylvania 180 days to file a claim. Once you submit the claim, the investigation begins. A Right to Sue letter will be issued to allow the complaint to be filed in state court.

Finally, the Philadelphia Commission of Human Rights governs the PFPO. The time limit set by the PHPO to file a claim is 300 days from the last incident.

How Long Can a Sexual Harassment Lawsuit in Philadelphia Last?

A sexual harassment lawsuit in Philadelphia will last anywhere from 4 to 6 months to one or more years. Several issues can affect the length of time the trial will last.

An employer may wish to settle the case quickly, avoiding negative publicity. The employer must be willing to negotiate a fair and reasonable settlement. This process may last as little as 4 to 6 months.

Some employers, however, are willing to take sexual harassment cases to court. It can take a few months to several years to finish the procedures that allow us to enter a courtroom. Pre-trial proceedings include questions, answers, and discovery.

The case may take another few days to a few weeks until the court is ready to make a decision. The entire process can take ten years or more to reach a final judgment.

What Laws Protect Employees from Sexual Harassment in the Workplace in Philadelphia?

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 protects employees from sexual harassment in the workplace. According to the law, a company of 15 or more employees, its supervisors, associates, co-workers, or clients are prohibited from sexually harassing an employee or job applicant in any way.

Under the Pennsylvania Human Relations Act (PHRA), Pennsylvania prohibits sexual harassment in the workplace in companies of 4 or more employees.

The Philadelphia Fair Practices Ordinance (PFPO) protects employees from sexual harassment if they work for a firm with four or more employees.

The experienced sexual harassment lawyers at the Derek Smith Law Group can help you determine which law and which court is best suited for your case.

What Relief Can A Court Provide a Victim of Sexual Harassment in Philadelphia?

A victim of sexual harassment in Philadelphia has every right to want justice for his or her suffering. When you decide to file a lawsuit to obtain justice, it is only natural to wonder what type of relief is available through the courts for sexual harassment. The remedies for sexual harassment in Philadelphia can include the following:
• Reinstatement of your position
• Back pay for lost wages
• Future pay
• Reimbursement of benefit premiums
• Reimbursement for medical expenses and other related expenses
• Attorney’s fees
• Reassignment or termination of the person or people harassing you
• Pain and Suffering
• Damages for emotional distress
• Punitive damages. These are the awards meant to “punish” the employer for this behavior. Punitive damages are calculated, in part, by the gross profits of the company, the nature and details of the harassment, and whether this type of behavior has occurred in the past.

What Are Some Ways a Victim of Sexual Harassment in Philadelphia Can Prepare to File a Claim?

If you are the victim of sexual harassment in the workplace, you should be proactive and prepare for your case before you file your claim.
• If you have not been fired or have not quit your job, don’t. Leaving your job can hurt your case.
• If your company has an HR department file a complaint immediately.
• If your company has policies and procedures regarding how to handle sexual harassment, follow them. While it may not make your situation any better, it will help your case.
• Gather evidence. This includes documenting every incident of sexual harassment, where and when it occurred, who was involved, and whether there are any witnesses (include the witnesses’ names and contact info if you have it).
• Contact an experienced Philadelphia Sexual Harassment attorney

Contact Our Experienced Philadelphia Sexual Harassment Attorney for a Free Consultation

No one deserves to be harassed and tormented at work by sexual harassment. It is illegal, immoral, and damaging. If you are the victim of sexual harassment in the workplace in Philadelphia, the experienced sexual harassment attorneys at the Derek Smith Law Group can help.

Contact us today at (215) 391-4790 for a free consultation. We do not get paid until you win your case.


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With over 25 years of experience, we have represented thousands of employment discrimination victims. We have recovered millions for our clients, including the largest emotional distress jury verdict in an employment law case ever to be sustained on appeal!

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