Harassment Lawsuit: Are You a Victim?

The claim of being harassed

Harassment Lawsuit is a legal term used to describe an individual’s claim of being harassed by another individual. Harassment occurs when someone fails to treat another person reasonably. Harassment is not just physical, it also includes verbal conduct and sometimes involves a situation where the victim is the target of humiliating or offensive comments. Harassment can occur in any working setting, but the most common areas of litigation are in the retail, office environment, customer service, and sales professions.


a hostile work environment

Both men and women can become victims of sexual harassment in the workplace and same-gender harassment is also illegal. While most sexual harassment lawsuits are brought against men, there is also a claim for women for sexual assault. In many cases, victims will ask their attorneys if they have a case. If your harasser behaved in a repeated or current way, it might be considered a sexual assault. In some cases, victims will not file a harassment lawsuit if they are not sexually assaulted, but if their perpetrator engages in unwelcome sexual advances, a hostile work environment, and/or uses abusive language when not directed towards the victim, they may wish to file a sexual assault or harassment lawsuit.


the first degree of assault

In a typical sexual harassment case, which is brought against a supervisor or someone in a similar position to the victim, the first degree of assault is defined as “hostile action by a person towards a person based on sex, disability, race, age, cultural background, or any other category”. The second degree, which is often called the hostile environment, encompasses actions or words that create a clear and present danger of employment discrimination, abuse, or violence. In addition to the first and second degrees of harassment, the use of actual physical force, invasion of privacy, or the threat of actual harm to the plaintiff also falls into the realm of first-degree harassment. To secure a case in this scenario, the victim must show that the victim was subjected to an actual or possible threat of employment discrimination, abuse, and/or violence.


file a complaint

To obtain a harassment lawsuit, the victim should be able to point to a specific instance when the victim was subjected to an act of discrimination, workplace hostility, or violence. The mere existence of the conduct is not sufficient; the plaintiff must be able to point to a specific instance when the victim endured the egregious treatment. The only true way to determine if you have been subject to discrimination, hostile environment, or harassment is to file a complaint.


Harassment offensive or non-offensive

Harassment can include any type of verbal, non-verbal, or physical conduct of a sexual nature, whether offensive or non-offensive. Hostile sexual remarks, emails, and another contact with a person that makes the victim uncomfortable irritate, or makes them feel uncomfortable can all be considered harassment. Some examples of classic sexual harassment include propositions, advances, comments on personal hygiene or body aspects, and propositions for sexual intercourse. Quid pro quo sexual harassment occurs when a perpetrator makes advances toward a subordinate with the idea of obtaining a sexual benefit from the victim in return. This type of harassment often takes place in the workplace and has a very negative impact on the work environment.


consult an attorney experienced in sexual harassment claims

Each state has different definitions of what is required for a sexual harassment lawsuit to be successful. Different states may require the presence of a sexual remark or action, or even require the context to be hostile, for the lawsuit to succeed. The fact that particular conduct is widespread across the state, geographical region, or even court system, does not mean that it is an acceptable form of employer-employee relations. If you feel you have been harassed or discriminated against at work, you should consult with an attorney experienced in sexual harassment claims. An experienced attorney will be able to assess your chances of success in a lawsuit and determine how best to move forward in pursuing a case.

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