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Coping With Legal Issues

When I started getting into trouble I became pretty acclimated to legal procedures. Calling my attorney and working out bail was just another way to spend a Saturday night. Unfortunately, the stiffer the charges, the more difficult it was to talk my way out of a bad situation. After so many charges, I found myself slapped with a long jail sentence, and I realized that I wanted to turn things around. Fortunately, my lawyer was able to walk me through yet another process, so that I could make the right changes. My blog discusses how to emotionally cope with legal issues so that you can start living a good life.



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Coping With Legal Issues

Understanding Workplace Sexual Harassment: A Legal Overview

by Lillian Wheeler

Workplace sexual harassment is a pervasive issue that affects employees in various industries. It is essential to have a clear understanding of the laws surrounding this issue to protect employees and create a safe working environment. This article offers a comprehensive guide to workplace sexual harassment laws. It defines key terms, outlines legal responsibilities, and explains employees' rights.  

Defining Workplace Sexual Harassment

Workplace sexual harassment refers to any unwanted conduct of a sexual nature that creates a hostile, intimidating, or offensive work environment. It can manifest in various forms, including unwanted advances, requests for sexual favors, lewd comments or jokes, displaying sexually suggestive material, or any other behavior of a sexual nature that interferes with an individual's work performance or creates an intimidating or hostile work environment.

Legal Responsibilities of Employers

Employers have a legal duty to provide a safe and harassment-free workplace environment. They are responsible for taking proactive steps to prevent and address instances of sexual harassment. These responsibilities include:

  1. Establishing Clear Policies: Employers should have written policies that clearly define sexual harassment, outline reporting procedures, and detail the consequences of engaging in such behavior.
  2. Training and Education: Employers should provide regular training sessions for employees to educate them about sexual harassment, its consequences, and the appropriate procedures for reporting incidents.
  3. Prompt and Thorough Investigations: Employers are obligated to investigate any reports of sexual harassment promptly and thoroughly. They should take appropriate disciplinary action if an investigation substantiates the allegations.

Employee Rights

Employees have legal protections against workplace sexual harassment. Key rights include:

  1. Right to a Safe Workplace: Employees have the right to be free from sexual harassment in their place of work. Employers have a legal duty to take reasonable steps to prevent and address instances of harassment.
  2. Right to Report: Employees have the right to report incidents of sexual harassment without fear of retaliation. Employers should provide accessible and confidential reporting channels.
  3. Right to Non-Retaliation: Employers cannot retaliate against employees who report or participate in investigations of sexual harassment. Retaliation includes any adverse employment action, such as demotion, termination, or negative changes in work conditions.

Legal Remedies

If an employee experiences workplace sexual harassment, they have a range of legal remedies available. These may include:

  1. Internal Complaint Procedures: Employees can file a complaint with their employer's internal human resources department or designated authority. Employers are legally obligated to investigate these complaints.
  2. Filing Charges with Government Agencies: Employees can file charges with relevant government agencies responsible for enforcing workplace discrimination laws, such as the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).
  3. Civil Lawsuits: If internal or agency processes do not resolve the issue, employees may have the option to file a civil lawsuit against the harasser and/or the employer.

By familiarizing yourself with workplace sexual harassment laws, you can protect yourself and others in your workplace from this unacceptable behavior. It is crucial for both employers and employees to understand their rights and responsibilities to create a safe and inclusive working environment.