Sexual Gift Giving in the Workplace

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Sexual Gift-Giving at Work

Top Sexual Harassment Attorneys Defending Employees Against Sexual Gift-Giving in the Workplace

When a present from a co-worker crosses the line, you may be entering sexual harassment territory. Giving someone sexually explicit gifts at work is not only unseemly, it might be illegal. It may create a hostile work environment.

You may be entitled to compensation if you have received numerous gifts that are romantic and sexual in nature, depending on the circumstances. At the Derek Smith Law Group, we know sexual harassment is not just a nuisance at work. It is not just “part of the job.” Sexual harassment can have devastating professional and psychological effects. That’s why we relentlessly pursue compensation for those who have been afflicted.
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Call our experienced sexual harassment lawyers in New York City, New Jersey, Philadelphia, Miami, and Los Angeles for a free consultation about your sexual gift-giving sexual harassment claim.

Is it inappropriate to give sexual (gag) gifts at work?

Gifts that could be considered sexual in nature are inappropriate in the workplace. Office parties, Secret Santa, and other gift exchanges are prime opportunities for sexual harassment. You should know that sexually-themed ‘gag’ gifts are not appropriate in the workplace, and may constitute sexual harassment. Harassers may offer sexually explicit presents under the guise of humor.  In some instances, your colleague may simply have been trying to be funny. They may have made a one-time mistake that could be brushed off as a lapse in judgment. However, someone may offer you a sexually explicit ‘gag’ gift with the express intent of making you feel intimidated, uncomfortable, and even afraid.

Examples of an Illegal Sexual Gift in the Workplace

Sexual gifts may include adult toys, adult-themed games, pornography, lingerie, romantic jewelry, personal care products, perfume, or any renderings that depict nudity or a sexual act. They may also be gifts with sexually explicit sayings or wording, as well as gifts intended to spark a sexual response. Sexual gifts in the workplace create a hostile work environment by creating extreme discomfort amongst individuals at work.

If someone offers you an offensive present, first let them know this kind of behavior is unacceptable. You may tell your supervisor or Human Resources representative. If the behavior persists and your employer does not take action to stop it, you should speak with a sexual harassment attorney knowledgeable about New York City, New Jersey, Philadelphia, Los Angeles, and Maimi workplace sexual harassment laws.
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Personal and romantic presents

Your colleague regularly offers personal gifts, despite your declaration that it makes you uncomfortable. Romantic gifts are given to you with repeated requests for dates, advances which you rebuff. A bouquet of roses came to your desk with a sexually explicit note attached. A single occurrence of these events is probably not severe enough to be considered sexual harassment. However, if you are repeatedly presented with romantic gifts at work, which create a hostile work environment, it could be grounds for legal action.

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Other personal gifts that may not be appropriate for the workplace are:
  • Lingerie
  • Romantic jewelry
  • Personal care products
  • Perfume
Again, your first course of action after receiving an objectionable gift is to let the person know you feel offended and embarrassed by their behavior. If the person does not respond favorably, escalate the situation to an attorney.

Can You Sue Your Boss for Sexual Gift-Giving at Work?

Sexual gift-giving is a form of prohibited sexual harassment. If your employer refuses to step in and stop any form of sexual harassment, you have the right to file a lawsuit against them. You may file your claim under federal or state sexual harassment laws.

It is best to consult a qualified sexual harassment lawyer in your state to determine the best laws to use to file your claim and receive the best possible outcome.

How Long Can a Sexual Gift-Giving Claim Last in the Courts?

There is no set timeframe for a sexual gift-giving sexual harassment claim. A claim may take a few months to reach a settlement if your employer is willing to negotiate a fair settlement early in the process.

However, if your employer is not willing to negotiate early in the process or you cannot come to an agreement, your case may take years to settle. It may even go through the entire legal process until the courts enter a judgment.

Can you Receive Compensation for a Sexual Gift-Giving Claim?

You have a right to receive compensation as the victim of sexual gift-giving sexual harassment in the workplace. You may request money for lost wages, pain and suffering, emotional distress, and more. However, you may also request that your employers conduct certain actions to make things right, such as give you back your job, change company policies, and fire the person harassing you and others in the workplace.

How Can a Sexual Harassment Lawyer Help Me Move My Sexual Gift-Giving Claim Along?

A sexual harassment lawyer can help you file your claim in the court best suited for the details of your sexual gift-giving claim. They can ensure you file your claim as quickly as possible to meet the legal obligations set forth under the law. Your sexual harassment attorney will also begin negotiations as soon as you decide to file your sexual gift-giving claim. They will work towards a fair settlement as quickly as possible so you and your employer can move on.
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How Can a Sexual Gift Get Used in a Quid Pro Quo Sexual Harassment Event?

Quid pro quo sexual harassment occurs when you receive promises of workplace advancements in exchange for performing sexual favors. Your boss may give you a sexual gift. He then may tell you that if you keep it quiet, he will give you a raise.

He may also tell you that if you model the gift for him, he will give you that corner office you have been eyeing. Any use of sexual gifts in sexual harassment that offers workplace advancements is a quid pro quo sexual harassment event.

Call us at 800-807-2209 to schedule a free consultation about your sexual gift-giving claim. Our lawyers handle all employment law matters for employees in New York City, New Jersey, Philadelphia, Miami, and Los Angeles.

Can You Get Fired from Work If You Refuse a Sexual Gift?

You have every right to refuse a sexual gift. Sexual gift-giving is a prohibited form of sexual harassment. Therefore, you cannot get fired from work for refusing a sexual gift.

You cannot face any forms of retaliation if you refuse a sexual gift or report the sexual gift to your boss or HR. Retaliation, such as wrongful termination, demotions, denied raises, altered shifts, negative employee reviews, and more, is prohibited under state and federal sexual harassment laws.

What is the Statute of Limitations for Sexual Gift-Giving Claim?

When you file your sexual harassment charge depends on the laws used to file your claim. If you choose to file a federal court claim, you must first file your charge with the EEOC. The EEOC provides a statute of limitations of 180 days (300 days in some states) to file your charge.

State laws vary between states. Therefore, to determine the time limit to file your claim under state law, you should speak with an experienced sexual harassment attorney in your state. Our lawyers handle all sexual harassment law matters for employees in New York City, New Jersey, Philadelphia, Miami, and Los Angeles.

Call Our Sexual Harassment Attorney For A Free Consultation

When sexual harassment at work starts negatively affecting your professional and personal life, contact the New York City, New Jersey, Philadelphia, Miami, and Los Angeles employment attorneys at the Derek Smith Law Group. For more than 25 years, we have fought back against unfair treatment in the workplace. Call us today at 800-807-2209 for a free consultation.

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