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Sexual Harassment In The Workplace

Sexual harassment in the workplace is a form of discrimination that violates both federal and Washington State laws. Unfortunately, it is one of the most widespread and detrimental types of workplace discrimination and remains common in both small and large companies.

workplace discrimination or sexual harassment in the workplace

What Is Sexual Harassment In The Workplace?

Sexual harassment is defined by law as any unwelcome sexual advance or behavior that disrupts your performance and/or creates a hostile work environment.

Some examples of sexual harassment in the workplace include:

  • Sharing inappropriate photos or videos,
  • Sending suggestive emails,
  • Making inappropriate sexual comments,
  • Repeatedly telling lewd or offensive jokes,
  • Asking for a sexual favor or date,
  • Staring or making sexual gestures,
  • Touching your body, clothing, or hair in any way that makes you uncomfortable, and
  • Sexual assault.

Victims and harassers can be any gender identity or sexual orientation. A harasser could be a supervisor, a co-worker, or a client.

What Can I Do If I’m Being Sexually Harassed At Work?

Many victims of sexual harassment don’t report what’s happening because they are afraid of retaliation or being wrongfully terminated. However, the behavior is unlikely to stop unless it is reported, or the victim or harasser leaves the company.

If you’ve asked for the behavior to stop and are still being harassed at work, start by contacting a sexual harassment attorney. They can help you understand your options, how to stop the harassment, and how to preserve your claims for trial if you choose to pursue legal action, especially if you experience retaliation or wrongful termination for reporting harassment.

Additional Steps

  • Consult Human Resources (HR): Check your employee handbook to learn and understand your company’s policy about sexual harassment and how to report it. Discuss the situation with HR or a trusted individual at work if you feel comfortable.
  • Document the harassment: Record when it happens, what is said, and who is present or nearby. Keep copies of any inappropriate media sent or shared with you. (Please note that in Washington State, it is illegal to record another person without their consent).
  • Seek support: Sexual harassment can take a huge toll on you emotionally. Talk to a therapist or trusted friend or family member to help process what is happening.

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Hiring A Sexual Harassment Attorney

If you, a friend, or a loved one is the victim of sexual harassment or any form of employment discrimination, it is important to address this illegal activity at once. You may feel embarrassed or ashamed that this is happening, but it’s not your fault, and you don’t deserve to be treated this way. An experienced sexual harassment attorney can help you navigate the situation and take action.

The employment attorneys at Emery | Reddy, PLLC will treat you with the dignity, compassion, and confidentiality you deserve. Emery | Reddy, PLLC can help you determine the best legal options for your case from negotiation, mediation, and arbitration to courtroom litigation. Call us today for a free case review.

Want More Information?

Workers’ Rights 

As a Washington State employee, you are entitled to several protections and benefits under State and federal laws.

Document Review

A document review is a comprehensive consultation and analysis of your document’s legal language, context, and impact on your worker’s rights as an employee of Washington State.

Wrongful Termination

If you believe you are a victim of wrongful termination, you need an aggressive and experienced legal team to fight for the justice you deserve.

Meet The Team

The Seattle sexual harassment attorneys at Emery | Reddy, PLLC are passionate about helping workers with employment law issues and L&I claims. We Help Workers®: it’s our motto and what drives us every day.

We know how companies think, and we understand the tactics they use. Our sexual harassment attorneys use that knowledge coupled with over two decades of experience to help our clients get access to the L&I benefits to which they are legally entitled and hold employers accountable when they break the law.

If you’re struggling with an employment law issue, injury, or L&I claim, please call us and see how Emery | Reddy can help you today.

emery reddy attorney tim emery headshot

Timothy W. Emery

emery reddy attorney patrick reddy headshot

Patrick B. Reddy

Emery reddy attorney karolina s. athur headshot

Karolina S. Arthur

Emery reddy attorney paul cipriani junior headshot

Paul Cipriani, Jr.

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