You would think that sexual harassment is only prohibited while you’re working, but you’re actually protected while you’re outside the office. One of the things to keep in mind is that you’re protected by sexual harassment from co-workers and employers instead of people you randomly talk to outside the office if you’re claiming that the incident happened as an extension of your workplace. If your employer fails to ensure that you are protected from sexual harassment by another employer or a co-worker, then the employer can be held responsible along with the person who committed the harassment. There are usually state laws that go along with federal laws that are in place in order to protect you from this kind of harassment that can occur after you leave the office at the end of the day or before you go inside the office in the morning. An attorney can help you determine what kind of claim you have and what kind of damages you could obtain if the claim is successful.
Just because employees leave the workplace setting doesn’t mean that they should stop being professional and respect other co-workers. Employers need to keep this type of respect in mind as well. Most of the time, employers and employees believe that they aren’t prohibited from making sexual advances or committing any kind of sexual harassment, especially toward co-workers. Most of the time, this kind of sexual harassment often happens at parties and other special events that take place in other areas aside from the workplace. Even though the event isn’t held in the office, it doesn’t mean that the rules and regulations that the employers and employees must uphold aren’t in effect.
In the event that you are receptive to the harassment that is taking place or you seem to reciprocate the actions that are being performed, your employer could use this in a negative way. It could appear as though you are welcoming the harassment instead of trying to push it away. If this happens, then any claim that you try to file could be negated and thrown out in court. Try to make all efforts to let the person know that you don’t appreciate the advancements that are being made and that you want the harassment to stop. If possible, keep a record of the harassing activities, when they occur, and what you do to try to stop them. If they occur time and time again, then you need to give this information to your attorney as repeated sexual harassment motions can sometimes lead to criminal charges instead of a typical claim against the employer or a co-worker.
Examples of ways that sexual harassment outside the office can occur include making jokes about someone’s gender or a sexual act, telling stories about a sexual act, making any kind of sexual advance that is not asked for, and giving gifts that have a romantic theme behind them or that seem as though they are romantic in nature.
Title VII is a regulation that is a part of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 that prohibits sexual harassment and discrimination in the workplace and is often one of the first acts that your attorney will usually reference when going before a judge or filing a claim. You could file a claim for harassment if the actions result in a work environment that is unpleasant or hostile. You can also file a claim if you have been approached in a quid pro quo manner. This means that your employer or a co-worker offered something in exchange for a sexual favor or another type of sexual harassment.
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