Can sexual harassment really be called an on-the-job injury?
Yes. Even though you may not have been physically harmed by a sexual harasser, such harassment still qualifies as a workplace injury because it creates an intolerable work environment. That type of injury can include unwanted physical touching or verbal abuse.
Sexual harassment is typically divided into two categories:
- Quid pro quo: Defined in Latin as “this for that,” quid pro quo harassment occurs when a worker – usually a supervisor – makes sexual advances in which it is implied that you will receive positive benefits (such as a raise or favorable recommendation) or negative retribution (such as a poor performance review or termination) if you comply with the request.
- Hostile work environment: This category includes any unsolicited sexual innuendo that doesn’t imply that you must perform sexual favors.
The Louthian Law Firm’s attorneys have extensive experience with quid pro quo lawsuits and cases of unwanted touching in the workplace. Contact our South Carolina lawyers today at (803) 454-1200 or fill out our confidential online form.
Where does the complaint process start?
If possible, inform your employer of the unwelcome actions. Your employer must make a lawful attempt to solve the problem to avoid liability. However, if the inappropriate behavior continues, you have 180 days to file a claim with the S.C. Human Affairs Commission or the U.S. Equal Opportunity Employment Commission. You may still file if you’ve missed that deadline, but don’t wait more than 300 days. Keep in mind that no lawsuit can move forward until you’ve filed a formal complaint.
My co-worker has been making suggestive comments. I laughed and responded back at first, but now it’s progressed and I’m uncomfortable. Can I still file a sexual harassment lawsuit against him?
Perhaps. However, if possible, try telling your co-worker that the teasing needs to stop. He or she may not be aware that it has escalated beyond your comfort zone. If nothing changes or you feel scared to confront the harasser, don’t be afraid to pursue the claim just because you initially played a role in the sexual-related banter.
Will the harasser’s lawyers embarrass me in court?
While we would expect South Carolina lawyers to behave sensitively in court, remember that they have a duty to zealously defend their client against these serious charges. It is likely you will have to address uncomfortable questions about your sexual history, and that can be difficult for many people. The attorneys at the Louthian Law Firm are sympathetic to your concerns and can counsel you on what to anticipate as your case proceeds.
Have You Been Sexually Harassed? Call Our Lawyers Today
Since 1959, the Louthian Law Firm has helped obtain favorable verdicts and settlements in sexual harassment lawsuits. Don’t let the harasser continue to harm you. Call the Columbia lawyers at the Louthian Law Firm toll free at (803) 454-1200 or fill out our confidential online form for an evaluation of your claim.