Recent news headlines about Harvey Weinstein, the Hollywood mogul accused of sexual harassment and sexual abuse by multiple actresses, is a reminder of the use of power to discriminate and harass in the workplace. It has taken years for Mr. Weinstein’s behavior to come to light due to his powerful position in the industry and the fear of retaliation by those who were subjected to his harassment. While this story brings national focus to the issues of sexual harassment and retaliation, it unfortunately is a common situation that impacts workers throughout Alabama.
At the core of a sexual harassment case, is the use of one’s position of power to victimize employees who feel they have no alternative but to submit to the harassment. It takes courage to make a complaint about a supervisor or executive who engages in sexual harassment in the workplace. There is always the fear of losing your job, having your hours cut, or losing out on the potential promotion. There is also fear of reputational damage with your co-workers or being labeled a “difficult employee.” While these are legitimate fears, there are anti-retaliation laws that make it illegal to harm an employee who has come forward with concerns over harassment or discrimination in the workplace.
In any sexual harassment case, it is important to report your harassment internally so that the company can properly address the situation and stop it. However, in cases where your direct supervisor or an executive is harassing you, you have to identify the correct person with the power to address the complaint. Many companies provide a hotline number or a HR representative where a victim of sexual harassment can make a confidential complaint. This information is often located in an employee handbook that is provided to the employee.
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, is the Federal Law that prevents sexual harassment and retaliation for reporting sexual harassment in the workplace. This law provides you a right to sue an employer for sexual harassment if the company fails to properly address the situation or if the company retaliates against you for reporting the conduct. This law allows you to recover damages for emotional distress, lost wages, and even punitive damages if your claim succeeds.
At Beckum Law, we routinely handle sexual harassment and retaliation cases throughout the State of Alabama. We can guide you through the process from assisting you in properly wording an internal complaint, drafting and filing your claim with the EEOC, and pursuing your case in Federal Court, if necessary. We handle all sexual harassment claims on a contingency fee, so you only pay us a percentage of what you recover, if you don’t receive a settlement or award – you don’t pay a legal fee.
Please contact Will Beckum today for a free consultation. You can reach our firm at (205) 588-0699 or at firstname.lastname@example.org