What is defined as sexual harassment in the workplace?

We are often asked by individuals across Alabama about what conduct rises to the level of improper sexual harassment in the workplace.  According to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, improper gender based harassment can include “sexual harassment” or unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical harassment of a sexual nature.  However, gender based harassment does not have to be of a sexual nature, it can include offensive remarks about a person’s sex.

Both victim and the harasser can be either a woman or a man, and the victim and harasser can be the same sex.  The harasser can be the victim’s supervisor, a supervisor in another area, a co-worker, or someone who is not an employee of the employer, such as a client or customer.

While the law does not prohibit simple offhand comments, harassment is illegal when it is so frequent or severe that it creates a hostile or offensive work environment or when it results in an adverse employment decision (such as the victim being fired or demoted).

Victims of sexual harassment in Alabama often experience severe emotional distress as a result of dealing with supervisors or co-workers that create a hostile work environment.  If you have been subject to improper workplace harassment, you should consult with an attorney to discuss the potential for resolving these issues.

Please contact me at (205) 382-3872 or wbeckum@beckumkittle.com for a free consultation.

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