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Sexual Harassment Lawyers – Free Legal Consultation


If you’ve been sexually harassed in the workplace, then you could be entitled to significant compensation under the law.  Pursuing a sexual harassment claim isn’t always straightforward, however — the evidentiary support for your claims has to be strong, and defendants are often hostile and challenging.  Further, the emotional sensitivity that you might have towards the dispute is likely to put a strain on you.  That’s why it’s so important to work with qualified sexual harassment attorneys who have experience handling similar claims.

Regardless of the state in which you reside, there are a variety of regulations that protect you against sexual harassment.  These include:

  • Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)
  • Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964
  • Your State’s Fair Employment and Housing Act
  • And more

Given the seriousness of a sexual harassment claim, and the potential consequences for your career and life, it’s critical that you do not go through the process alone — we encourage you to explore your legal options and to consult experienced sexual harassment lawyers for guidance on how to proceed.

That being said, if you’d like to learn more about sexual harassment disputes, read on to learn more!  We’ll go through some of the basics to help you understand some foundational issues that might be relevant to your claims.

What sort of behavior qualifies as sexual harassment?

Definitions of what constitutes sexual harassment vary slightly from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, but certain general definitions apply regardless. The California Department of Justice has a particularly clear definition that is worth noting here: “Briefly, sexual harassment refers to both unwelcome sexual advances, or other visual, verbal, or physical conduct of a sexual nature and actions that create an intimidating, hostile, or offensive work environment based on an employee’s sex.”

This definition is broad and encapsulates a variety of different behaviors. These include the following:

  • Unwanted sexual advances and physical contact
  • Displaying pornographic imagery
  • Sending inappropriate text messages, photos, videos, etc.
  • Making derogatory comments or sexual jokes
  • Quid pro quo behavior (i.e., tit-for-tat sexual favors)
  • Creating an atmosphere of hostility (i.e., a hostile work environment) due to an employee’s gender or sexual orientation
  • And more

So, for example, if your boss texts you a joke about how your legs look beautiful, that would actually qualify as sexual harassment under the law — even if they claim that they are “just joking.” Repeated jokes like this by others, too, could qualify as a hostile work environment. A hostile work environment might also be created if the jokes aren’t sexual, but are based on your gender or sexual orientation, instead. Yes — sexual harassment cases are that diverse!

What is the best way to deal with harassment?

If you’ve experienced workplace harassment, then your top priority should be consulting a qualified labor lawyer who can help you explore the possibility of a lawsuit and who can communicate to relevant parties on your behalf.

Without legal training, you may undermine your own sexual harassment claims and workplace harassment claims during your interactions with various people (i.e., law enforcement, HR teams, etc.). Working with sexual harassment lawyers early on can be extremely useful for preserving your claims and maximizing the likelihood of your success.

What are four steps someone should take if they are being sexually harassed?

If you’re being sexually harassed, consider taking the following steps to better preserve your legal claims and maximize your chances of securing compensation:

  1. Document everything (texts, emails, photos, audio recordings, etc.) so that you can better support your harassment claims
  2. Talk to colleagues who may have had similar experiences and who could potentially testify on your behalf
  3. Report the misconduct to HR, but only after speaking to an attorney who can work with you to do so in a way that doesn’t undermine your claims
  4. Avoid making sensitive disclosures to workplace leadership

It is also crucial to take steps to prevent sexual harassment in the workplace by implementing effective policies and procedures.

Can I sue my employer if I’m sexually harassed at work?

Yes, it’s possible to sue your employer if you’re sexually harassed at work.

Employers may not be vicariously liable for sexual harassment (vicarious liability only applies if the employee acted negligently, but sexual harassment is an intentional harm, not a negligent one) — that being said, they can be independently sued for sexual harassment if they fostered a hostile work environment that enabled the harassment, or if they knew or should have known about the harassment behavior but did not take reasonable steps to correct it.

Worth noting: you have legal protections when it comes to pursuing your rights.  Employers cannot engage in behavior intended to intimidate you or punish you for exercising your legal rights.  If your employer attempts to retaliate against you for reporting sexual harassment, or for exploring the possibility of a lawsuit due to the sexual harassment, then you could be entitled to sue them independently for retaliation.  Retaliation is illegal — it involves adverse employment conduct, such as firing you or refusing to give you a promotion, because you’ve chosen to exercise your rights.

Is a negotiated settlement an option?

Absolutely — yes, a negotiated settlement is a reasonable option.  In fact, settlements are the most common option in any sort of workplace-related dispute, with industry observers estimating that as much as 95 percent of civil disputes are resolved through a settlement agreement.

Better yet — in the sexual harassment context, you would have a significant advantage in litigation, thus helping you to strategically pressure the defendant into an early and favorable settlement compromise.  See, litigation is public.  That means if your case moves forward through the legal process, news reports and overall media coverage could expose your employer’s wrongdoing to the public at-large.  Depending on how your employer is portrayed by media, their brand could be irreparably damaged — particularly given that the public is more likely to view the accused negatively in the wake of the #metoo movement.

In order to avoid the reputational harm caused by this publicization of the dispute, the defendant (your employer) may choose to pay you a settlement and avoid the hassle and publicity of litigation.

What sort of compensation could I receive if I’m a victim of workplace sexual harassment?

If you’re sexually harassed in the workplace, you could be entitled to compensation for the following losses:

  • Wage loss
  • Loss of earning capacity
  • Medical expenses (i.e., medical bills for medical treatment)
  • Pain and suffering (such as emotional distress)
  • Loss of enjoyment of life
  • Loss of companionship
  • And more

An actionable sexual harassment claim can help you recover these damages through legal action.

Let’s consider a hypothetical case to help clarify how these losses add up.  For example, suppose that you’ve been sexually harassed in the workplace by your supervisor over the course of a year.  They’ve intimated that if you try to report them, they will ruin your career, and they’ve instilled a great deal of fear throughout the ordeal (in addition to the violative trauma of sexual assault).

Under these circumstances, it’s very likely that you would have sustained wage loss damages due to having to take time off work to recover and wrestle with the emotional ramifications of sexual harassment.  Sexual harassment could leave lifelong trauma, too, that could impact your earning capacity if you’re unable to do a competent job at work down the line.  Medical expenses could be substantial due to the need for years of therapy after the sexual harassment incidents.  The pain and suffering you experience (i.e., emotional distress) will lead to substantial damages in that regard.  And so on and so forth — the damages add up from a variety of losses.

How much time do I have to bring a sexual harassment claim against my employer?

The statute of limitations deadline that applies to your sexual harassment claim varies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction — in the state of California, for example, the deadline is three years (running from the date of the last incidence of sexual harassment).  In Texas, by contrast, the statute of limitations deadline is significantly shorter, at just 300 days from the date of the last incidence of sexual harassment.

Timeliness is crucial.

If you do not file your claims before the deadline passes, then courts will automatically dismiss the relevant claims on the basis that you abandoned or relinquished your right to compensation under the law.  That’s one of the (many) reasons why it’s so useful to work with an attorney early on in the dispute process — they have a legal duty to handle your claims in a timely manner, so you can rest easy knowing that you will not be missing any key deadlines.

How much does a sexual harassment lawyer cost?

The general public often believes — mistakenly — that working with an attorney is something that only wealthy individuals can do.  In truth, however, it doesn’t have to cost you anything upfront or out-of-pocket to work with an experienced sexual harassment attorney who can help you navigate the legal process and secure compensation.

Many sexual harassment lawyers offer their services on contingency.  This means that they don’t take any money from the client at first.  Instead, they agree to accept a percentage cut of whatever compensation they’re able to secure on your behalf — if they don’t successfully obtain compensation for you, then they don’t get paid.

In other words: you only pay if you “win.”  If you don’t, then you don’t pay anything.

The percentage cut can vary from 25 percent at the low end to 40 percent or more at the high end.  This fee can be negotiated, however, so you’ll want to discuss this with whichever attorney you’re moving forward with.

Notably, contingency fee arrangements lower the barrier-to-entry for bringing a sexual harassment lawsuit (by making it cost nothing to get started) and they also align the attorney with the client — that’s because the attorney is incentivized to try and maximize the client’s success rate and overall compensation amount.  The more you get paid, the more they get paid, after all.

If you’ve been harmed in a sexual harassment incident, then you could be entitled to sue the responsible parties (including your employer) for compensation under the law.  Pursuing compensation isn’t always straightforward — particularly in a sexual harassment scenario, where the evidence may be murky and confused.  That’s where a qualified sexual harassment lawyer comes in.

Contact 1-800-THE-LAW2 for a free legal consultation with an experienced employment lawyer in our network.  During the initial consultation, you’ll be able to discuss your case in detail with the attorney and get comprehensive advice on how best to proceed.  If you decide against moving forward with our network attorney, that’s okay — there’s no obligation to do so.  As such, there’s really no downside to picking up the phone and calling in today to get started with a consultation!

We look forward to assisting you.

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Tarun Sridharan Legal Editor & Attorney Contributor Posted On: July 2, 2024