Employment Lawyers Fighting for Employees Who Have Been Sexually Harassed
The #metoo movement and movies like Bombshell have recently shined a bright light on a problem that sadly remains all too common in the workplace; sexual harassment and assault.
Sexual harassment includes any unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, or other verbal or physical harassment of a sexual nature. It also includes unwanted physical contact. Examples of sexual harassment include:
- Offensive joking, comments, emails, or other unwelcome communications
Non-verbal communication, like staring or suggestive facial, body, or hand gestures
- Inappropriate text messages or emails, including sending explicit images
- Unwanted sexual advances, touching, groping
- Discounting or ignoring reports of misconduct to management
- Retaliation or wrongful termination for making a report or voicing a concern about sexual harassment
- Work retaliation or harassment based on the termination of a sexual relationship
- Offers of a job, promotion, or favorable treatment for sexual acts (quid pro quo harassment)
Importantly, and contrary to what some continue to mistakenly believe, sexual harassment is not limited to interactions between members of different genders (e.g., a male boss harassing a female subordinate)., Instead, it includes all unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, sexually motivated contact or other verbal or physical conduct or communication of a sexual nature directed by one person at another regardless of gender identity or sexual orientation. Additionally, sexual harassment is not limited to a physical workplace, but can also occur during virtual meetings, through texting or calls, during business travel, or at work-related events. Finally, sexual harassment doesn’t have to come from the employee’s supervisor; it can come from management and non-management level employees, clients, or customers
Standing Up Against Sexual Harassment in the Workplace
If you have been the target of sexual harassment in the workplace, whether in the office or remotely, you will likely feel violated, isolated, and depressed. You may also be afraid to report it due to potential retaliation. But every employee is entitled to feel safe in the workplace. And every employee is entitled to work in an environment free of the disruption caused by harassment.
If you have had any of these experiences, you do not need to deal with it alone. Halunen Law employment attorneys know the state and federal laws that protect you from sexual harassment in the workplace and are dedicated to the fight for your rights when they have been violated. In a free, confidential consultation, Halunen Law employment attorneys will listen to your story and help you determine if you have grounds to pursue legal action. Your situation is unique, but the illegal conduct happens more than we’d like to think. Halunen Law will fight for you and provide expert and personal guidance based on what has happened to you. We are determined to hold employers accountable and are here to help you get the justice and compensation you deserve.
Minnesota state and federal laws protect employees against sexual harassment and related wrongful termination or retaliation. It’s important to understand the definition of sexual harassment including; what rights you have, and when you should contact a sexual harassment lawyer.
Case Example Involving Sexual Harassment
Our client was hired by as a personal assistant to a male boss. He promised to “teach her the ropes” of his business and assured her that once she completed her “training,” she would be promoted. Instead, he spent the next several months grooming her – giving her money, buying her gifts, etc. – and eventually began sending sexually explicit texts and making advances to her in the office as she tried to do her job. When the client objected and refused these unwanted advances, she was fired. Through aggressive negotiations, a six-figure settlement was reached without filing a lawsuit or going to court.
How Can I Protect Myself from Sexual Harassment and Assault?
The first step you can take against sexual advances of any type is to firmly tell the harasser to stop and report the conduct. If the conduct continues, contact a sexual harassment attorney at Halunen Law, who can help you determine how to move forward in the situation to produce the best possible outcome. With legal guidance, you can determine the specific scope and impact of the harassment and take legal action to remedy the adverse effects you have experienced as a result, including emotional distress, retaliation and wrongful termination.
What is Quid pro-Quo Sexual Harassment?
Quid pro quo” is a Latin term that means “something for something” or “this for that.” It occurs when a harasser who is a manager or boss takes advantage of his or her power in the workplace to demand sexual attention or favors from an employee they manage. A manager might ask for sexual favors or a dating relationship in exchange for a promotion or raise. Or, it could be more subtle, like a manager mentioning an advancement opportunity to an employee while asking him or her out to dinner. Often, when the sexual advances or dates are declined, the harasser will retaliate by taking away the promotion or raise, or even terminating the employee. Quid pro quo sexual harassment is illegal under Minnesota and federal law, and if this has happened to you, contact Halunen Law for a confidential consultation.
Workplace Sexual Harassment Attorneys in Minnesota
Halunen Law employment attorneys are experienced in dealing with work-related sexual harassment and assault as well as other difficult employment matters. Our sexual harassment attorneys can provide the advocacy you need to protect yourself and preserve your right to work in a safe environment.
Federal and state laws exist to protect employees and guard against wrongful termination. During a free, confidential consultation, we can help you figure out if you have grounds to pursue legal action against an employer, or whether to deal with the problem in a different way. Schedule a free, confidential consultation with a Minnesota employment law attorney to determine your rights as you consider pursuing legal actions against your aggressor and employer. Call 612-605-4098 to schedule your consultation.