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Common Questions About Workplace Sexual Harassment

Everyone deserves to be treated with dignity and respect at work. Sexual harassment can take a tremendous toll on your mental health, which can have repercussions for your physical health, too.

If you’re experiencing sexual harassment on the job, talk to our team at Bouchillon Crossan & Colburn, L.C., in Huntington, West Virginia. Our employment lawyer, Amy Crossan, understands the profoundly stressful impact of experiencing this kind of mistreatment. With more than two decades of experience, she can protect you in speaking up and standing up for your rights.

Below you will find answers to common questions about sexual harassment at work.

How do I know if I’m experiencing sexual harassment?

Sexual harassment is a broad term, and it encompasses a wide range of behavior. You may be experiencing sexual harassment if you’re facing a pattern of:

  • Unwanted touching or sexual advances
  • Inappropriate jokes
  • Uncomfortable comments
  • Unwelcome comments on your appearance
  • Sexually explicit materials such as posters or calendars

This kind of treatment creates a hostile work environment, which is grounds for a sexual harassment claim.

Another type of harassment is quid pro quo – that is, requests or pressure for sexual favors in exchange for a work-related benefit.

Can I get fired for reporting harassment?

This is a common concern, and it’s a big reason why many people who have suffered harassment in the workplace silently suffer through it. Both state and federal law make it illegal for employers to retaliate against employees for reporting sexual harassment. Even if the sexual harassment claim isn’t successful, you can’t lose your job, face a demotion or be subjected to other unfavorable treatment for raising a claim.

What can I expect if my claim is successful?

You can get compensation for the many ways the harassment has impacted your life, including:

  • Pay for work you missed, including back pay if you quit or were fired
  • Compensation for missed opportunities like promotions
  • Reimbursement for any medical or therapy expenses related to the harassment
  • Job reinstatement if you lost your job and wish to return
  • Other harassment-related expenses

Additionally, you may be able to get punitive damages (additional compensation) as a penalty against your employer, which also helps deter other employers from allowing or overlooking harassment.

Talk To A Caring Employment Attorney About Your Questions

If you have more questions about sexual harassment or would like a professional opinion on whether you have a claim, please reach out to our firm at 304-521-4636. You can also send us an email. We are dedicated to helping you seek justice.