Philadelphia Sexual Harassment Attorney

Protecting Philadelphia Employees Against Sexual Harassment in the Workplace

Sexual harassment can occur in any type of work environment. From in the office to a firm-wide holiday party, inappropriate sexual comments or conduct should never be tolerated. If you have been a victim of sexual harassment in the workplace, you need an experienced sexual harassment attorney in Philadelphia to help you take proper action in an effort to remedy the situation.

What is Considered Sexual Harassment?

The U.S. Equal Opportunity Employment Commission (EEOC) defines workplace sexual harassment as unwelcome sexual advances or conduct of a sexual nature which unreasonably interfere with the performance of a person’s job or creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive work environment. Sexual harassment is a form of gender discrimination and both men and women experience sex/gender discrimination in the workplace every day.

What Are the Two Types of Sexual Harassment?

The laws in Philadelphia separate sexual harassment into two categories: Quid Pro Quo Sexual Harassment and Hostile Work Environment Sexual Harassment.

1. Quid Pro Quo

Quid Pro Quo sexual harassment occurs when an employee is given special treatment in exchange for sexual favors. For example, if your employer offers you a raise in exchange for going on dates or having sex, this is considered Quid Pro Quo sexual harassment. This conduct is illegal under Federal and Pennsylvania state law. Furthermore, if you decline the quid pro quo sexual advances of your superior, you may be subjected to retaliation. If you feel you have suffered Quid Pro Quo sexual harassment in the workplace or have been retaliated against for declining the sexual advances if a superior, contact us today at [insert telephone number here] for a free consultation.

2. Hostile Work Environment Sexual Harassment

Hostile work environment cases occur when there are unwanted comments or conduct of a sexual nature that unreasonably interfere with the workplace environment.  When a co-worker or supervisor or non-employee agent for the company displays behavior inappropriately sexually based behavior. This behavior alters the normal conditions of the employee’s working environment and creates an abusive or hostile working environment. The Philadelphia sexual harassment lawyers at the Derek T. Smith Law Group are the Top Rated sexual harassment attorneys in Pennsylvania having represented employees in thousands of hostile working environment sexual harassment cases. If you feel you have suffered hostile work environment harassment on the job or on your college campus contact us today for a free consultation.

What Are Some Examples of Sexual Harassment?

Some examples of employment sexual harassment in Philadelphia are:

  • Inappropriate touching, 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 in exchange for employment advancement or benefits;
  • Sending unwanted messages. (e.g. emails, chats, inter-office letters or notes);
  • 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,
    mannerisms or clothing;
  • Demanding physical contact, (e.g – Kiss, Hug, Massage);
  • Asking sexual questions about another employee’s sexual history or sexual orientation.

Is an Employer Liable for Harassment by Supervisors?

Your employer is vicariously liable for sexual harassment if the harassment is done by a supervisor with immediate. Additionally, if the unlawful harassment is committed by a co-worker, the employer may still be liable if they knew, or should have known, about the harassment or discrimination and failed to take immediate corrective action. If you have been unlawfully harassed or discriminated against by a supervisor or co-worker, it is important that you consult with an attorney sooner than later.

Statue of Limitations On Sexual Harassment Claims In Philadelphia?

Statutes of limitation could vary depending on the type of harassment or discrimination, however, remember that the “clock” is running. For example, claims of sex/gender discrimination, such as sexual harassment, have a 300-day statute of limitation to file with the EEOC. For sexual harassment claims brought in Pennsylvania State court, you have only 180 days from the harm to file with the Pennsylvania Human Rights Commission (PHRC). Either way, time is a key factor in ensuring that you receive justice for being subjected to sexual harassment in the workplace. Call us now for a free consultation.

What About Retaliation to Complaints of Harassment?

If you have been sexually harassed in the workplace, you may fear being retaliated against once you complain. Federal and Pennsylvania state law makes it illegal for your employer to retaliate against you for complaining about sexual harassment or any other form of workplace discrimination. Retaliation can take many forms; most commonly, employees are terminated shortly after lodging a complaint about sexual harassment or discrimination. Other forms of retaliation can be the suspension, write-ups, a decrease in your usual amount of hours, or being stripped of your job duties.

What is the Average Settlement for a Discrimination Lawsuit?

In Philadelphia, there are several types of damages employees can recover in sexual harassment cases. These types include lost wages, lost benefits, emotional distress and suffering, punitive damages, and attorneys’ fees. Also, you may ask for your job back. For example, if someone complains about their supervisor making sexist comments and is terminated, the recovery may include back pay and benefits the person would have received if they had not been fired.

The employer will also be required to implement an anti-harassment and discrimination policy to stop any discriminatory practices and take steps to prevent discrimination in the future.

Philadelphia EEOC Attorneys Here to Assist With Your EEOC Sexual Harassment Claim

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) enforces federal laws prohibiting discrimination in the workplace based on an individual’s religion, color, national origin, race, age (40 or older), sex, genetic information, disability, and other protected classes. Moreover, discriminating against a person because that individual filed a charge of employment discrimination, complained about discrimination in the workplace, participating in an employment discrimination lawsuit, or investigation is illegal. We can help you file an EEOC claim and guide you through the entire EEOC process.

Companies with 15 employees or more must comply with the laws of the EEOC. Furthermore, most labor unions and employment agencies are covered. Those federal laws also apply to work situations which include firing, promotions, hiring, benefits, wages, training, and harassment.