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Title VII Sexual Harassment Cases: When an Employer May Be Liable

Title VII Sexual Harassment Cases: When an Employer May Be Liable

Facing sexual harassment at work can leave you feeling embarrassed, isolated, and without options. However, as a type of sex-based discrimination, employment sexual harassment is more than just personally violating—it is a violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. This federal law applies to private and government employers with 15 or more employees, and allows workers affected by sexual harassment or a hostile work environment to file claims against their employers.

Are you being sexually harassed on the job? Has your workplace become toxic, or polluted with inappropriate sexual jokes or comments? You may have grounds to bring a claim against your employer. Here's what you need to know about Title VII sexual harassment or hostile work environment claims, including when an employer may be liable and how the caring and capable employment attorneys with Bailess Law Firm can help you hold your employer for unlawful discrimination.

Sexual Harassment in the Workplace

What constitutes sexual harassment in employment? The term encompasses a wide range of inappropriate workplace actions, such as unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature.

Quid pro quo harassment occurs when a person in a position of authority explicitly or implicitly pressures a worker to provide sexual favors or submit to unwanted advances in exchange for job-related benefits or to avoid termination or other negative employment consequences. While this form of harassment is frequently portrayed in movies and on television, it is less common than hostile work environment sexual harassment. Under Title VII, a hostile work environment is one in which sexually suggestive or explicit advances, comments, and jokes, or the circulation of offensive photos, videos, memes, and other inappropriate material is frequent or pervasive.

Anyone can be affected by on-the-job sexual harassment—and this unacceptable conduct can come from a direct supervisor, the supervisor or another area or department, a coworker, or even someone who isn't employed by your company, such as a vendor, client, or customer.

Elements of a Title VII Sexual Harassment Claim

Inappropriate verbal or physical conduct in the workplace rises to the level of sexual harassment when:

  • Submission to unwelcome sexual advances is made a term or condition of your employment
  • Submission or rejection of said conduct is used as the basis for making decisions about your employment
  • It unreasonably interferes with your job performance
  • Creates a work environment that is intimidating, hostile, or offensive

In a Title VII sexual harassment case, you and your attorney must show that the harassment in question was:

  • Sexual or gender-based
  • Severe or pervasive
  • Unwelcome

Factors that can affect employer liability include whether the harassment resulted in a tangible employment action—such as demotion or termination—and whether the employer took appropriate corrective action when informed of the illegal conduct.

What to Do If You're Affected By Employment Sexual Harassment

You don't have to put up with demeaning or degrading sexual or gender-based harassment in the workplace. A knowledgeable and experienced employment attorney can help you understand your legal rights and explore your options for stopping this offensive treatment in its tracks. For example, you may have grounds to file a complaint with the West Virginia Equal Opportunity Employment Commission (EEOC) or a civil lawsuit seeking damages. Depending on the available facts and evidence in your case, we may be able to help you recover back pay, anticipated future losses, compensatory damages, and other losses.

Ready to find out what the exceptional legal team at Bailess Law Firm can do for you? Adept legal representation is just a call or click away.

Request a Review of Your Title VII Sexual Harassment Case

Contact us today to schedule an appointment for a complimentary, no-obligation case review. Don't wait—the time to initiate a claim is limited.

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