Sexual Harassment Lawyer
Serving Minneapolis / St. Paul and Surrounding Areas
Everyone has the right to be free from sexual harassment in the workplace. If you feel that you have been subjected to unwanted romantic advances or offensive sexual behavior at your job, you may have a claim for sexual harassment against your employer.
Sexual harassment in the workplace is prohibited by both federal and state law. There are two forms of sexual harassment recognized under the law: quid pro quo sexual harassment and hostile work environment sexual harassment.
Quid pro quo sexual harassment occurs when the victim’s supervisor proposes a trade-off of employment benefits, such as a promotion, raise or other benefit, in exchange for sexual favors. If the supervisor proposes or suggests such an arrangement, he/she has likely triggered a claim for quid pro quo sexual harassment. The most basic example of quid pro quo sexual harassment would be the victim’s supervisor informing the victim that if she will sleep with him, she will get a promotion at work.
The other type of sexual harassment is when a supervisor or co-worker’s sexual advances or conduct create a hostile work environment for the victim. In order to establish a hostile work environment claim, the victim must show that her supervisor or co-worker’s sexual advances or conduct are unwelcome and so severe or pervasive that it has affected the victim’s ability to do her job. In analyzing a hostile work environment claim, the court will consider the “totality of the circumstances” and determine whether the victim’s employment has been affected by the conduct. Some factors courts will consider are: the offensiveness of the conduct, how frequently it occurred, and its effect on the victim’s ability to do her job.
For women in many professions, the underrepresentation of women in the workplace – particularly in management positions – can make tolerating such harassment seem like part of the job. This is wrong. Sexual harassment should never be tolerated. Under the law, everyone is entitled to a safe and harassment-free work environment.
Examples of conduct that suggest the victim has been subjected to a sexual harassment are:
- Outright sexual advances, such as propositioning the victim for sex or asking her out on dates or social events;
- Inappropriate and unnecessary touching, such as patting, pinching or groping anywhere on the body, but especially in private or personal areas;
- Leering or staring;
- Inappropriate comments made by a supervisor or co-worker about the victim’s body, appearance, sexual orientation, sex life or clothing;
- Prying for personal or relationship information from the victim;
- Using highly sexual or sexist language in the workplace; and
- Showing or distributing sexual images or pornography via computer or email.
Title VII and the Minnesota Human Rights Act strictly prohibit sexual harassment in the workplace. If you have been subjected to sexual harassment at your job, you need an experienced sexual harassment attorney on your side. The Joseph A. Larson Law Firm PLLC has extensive experience protecting the rights of those who are sexually harassed in the work place.
To schedule a free analysis of your claim today, call (612) 618-8361.