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Workplace Sexual Harassment/Hostile Work Environment

Workplace Sexual Harassment Attorney in Charleston, WV

Fierce Representation and Compassionate Client Care in Morgantown, Clarksburg and Parkersburg

You work hard to provide for yourself and your family. The last thing you need is for unwanted and inappropriate attention to complicate your efforts. Sadly, workplace sexual harassment is all too common in West Virginia, and it can leave victims feeling embarrassed, intimidated, and trapped. Sound familiar? If so, you've come to the right firm for assistance.

At Bailess Law Firm, our empathetic and highly skilled Charleston, WV sexual harassment lawyers help workers hold employers and others accountable for unlawful, sexually degrading behavior. Here's what you need to know.

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How to Recognize Sexual Harassment in the Workplace?

On-the-job sexual harassment can take many forms. One of the most common types, known as Quid Pro Quo, occurs when it's stated or implied that job security or employment benefits (like raises or promotions) hinge on an employee's willingness to accept sexual advances or provide sexual favors. Prohibited by both state and federal law, Quid Pro Quo harassment is a blatant violation of your employment rights.

However, workplace sexual harassment involves so much more than just threats or bribes for sexual activity. Oftentimes, it's a constant barrage of inappropriate jokes and innuendos that continues even after the employee has expressly asked that it stop, resulting in a workplace that feels uncomfortable or unsafe. Hostile work environment sexual harassment isn't just offensive; it's a form of employment discrimination, and it's against the law.

Sexually harassing behavior includes a wide range of unwanted physical contact and suggestive verbal actions, such as:

  • Crude jokes
  • Sexual innuendos
  • Lewd remarks
  • Commenting on a person's body
  • Sexual advances
  • Requests for sexual favors
  • Circulating sexually suggestive photos, cartoons, videos, or other material
  • Sending or sharing inappropriate texts or emails
  • Inappropriate touching or brushing up against others
  • Using sexually suggestive, explicit, or offensive gender-related language
  • Company policies that discriminate based on gender

If sexual harassment is affecting your performance and making your job an intimidating, offensive, or hostile place to work, we can help.

What To Do If Sexually Harassed At Work

If you are experiencing sexual harassment at work, it is essential to take immediate action to protect yourself and address the situation. Here are some steps you can consider:

  • Speak up: If you feel safe and comfortable doing so, directly communicate with the harasser and clearly state that their behavior is unwelcome and must stop.
  • Document incidents: Keep a detailed record of the incidents, including dates, times, locations, people involved, and any witnesses present. This documentation will serve as evidence if you decide to take further action.
  • Review company policies: Familiarize yourself with your company's policies on sexual harassment. Understand the reporting process and the available resources for addressing the issue.
  • Report to HR or management: Inform your human resources department or a trusted supervisor about the situation. Provide them with the documented incidents and any other relevant information. Follow your company's reporting procedures.
  • Seek support: Reach out to friends, family, or colleagues you trust for emotional support. Consider seeking assistance from professional organizations, hotlines, or support groups specializing in workplace harassment.
  • Consult an attorney: If the situation persists or if you face retaliation for reporting, consult with an experienced employment attorney who can provide legal advice and guidance on your rights and options.

Remember that each situation is unique, and the appropriate course of action may vary. It is important to prioritize your safety and well-being throughout the process.

Holding Sexual Harassers Accountable in Charleston, WV

You have the right to a safe work environment that's free of sexual harassment and gender-based discrimination. Holding sexual harassers accountable is crucial in creating a safe and inclusive environment for everyone. One effective way to achieve this is by seeking the assistance of an attorney. When employers, supervisors, managers, coworkers, or others engage in sexually harassing conduct that violates your rights, our accomplished and understanding employment law attorneys can help you take legal action to hold them accountable. Our workplace sexual harassment attorney in Charleston specialize in helping victims navigate the complexities of the legal system and ensure that their rights are protected. We can assist in documenting evidence, filing complaints, and initiating legal proceedings against the harasser or the organization responsible.

Depending on the circumstances of your case, a sexual harassment lawyer at our firm may be able to help you recover compensation for a variety of damages, including:

  • Lost wages, tips, commissions, and bonuses
  • Lost employment benefits, such as health, pension, retirement, paid time off, stock option, or profit-sharing benefits
  • Related medical or psychological counseling expenses
  • Emotional distress
  • Embarrassment
  • Loss of dignity

In some cases, a judge or jury may also award punitive damages to workplace sexual harassment plaintiffs. Rather than attempting to compensate you for an economic or non-economic loss, these damages punish the defendant for reckless or intentional wrongdoing.

Retaliation for Making a Sexual Harassment Claims

People who are being sexually harassed on the job are often reluctant to report it or take legal action because they're worried that their harasser will retaliate against them.  Retaliation for making a sexual harassment claim is an unfortunate reality that many individuals face in various contexts, in the workplace. Don't let this fear convince you to suffer in silence. Retaliation for making a sexual harassment claim is against the law, and if you've experienced it, we'll work to help you recover damages.  

West Virginia has laws aimed to safeguard the rights of victims and encourage reporting, ensuring a safe and inclusive environment for all.   Retaliation for making a sexual harassment claims take numerous forms and may vary depending on the specific circumstances and the environment in which it occurs. 

Trust Your Instincts and Talk to a Sexual Harassment Attorney

You know when an employer or coworker has crossed the line, but if you're like many of our clients who have endured sexual harassment in the workplace, you may find yourself questioning whether you are being "silly" or making something out of nothing. Or you may worry that if you talk to an sexual harassment attorney about your experiences, they'll treat you as if that's the case. Don't let these doubts shake your confidence. Trust your instincts and contact us to make an appointment to discuss your case. 

Our warm and caring sexual harassment attorneys in Charleston, WV will listen without judgment and help you understand your legal rights and options. To request a consultation, call (304) 841-0037 now. 

Hear Hear Why Our Clients Trust Us

Reviews & Testimonials
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