Examples of Sexual Harassment Cases
Examples of Sexual Harassment Cases at Work
Sexual harassment in the workplace is stressful and intimidating. Employee Rights Attorney Group is here to offer support. A sexual harassment attorney can guide you through a difficult time and help you enforce your rights to a harassment free workplace. Below are some examples of sexual harassment in the workplace that may lead and/or have led to a lawsuit. These examples may help explain the types of behavior or circumstances that may give rise to a sexual harassment claim. Moreover, one set of facts may give rise to other claims in addition to a claim of sexual harassment thereby availing a victim to multiple avenues for compensation.
Unwelcome Comments and Unwanted Physical Touching is Sexual Harassment
Shortly after Maria was hired as an account manager, her supervisor Jeff began to make repeated, unwelcome contact with Maria. What started out as occasional offensive comments, progressed to physical touching. Jeff caressed her hands, rubbed her back and touched her shoulders. He stared at her and told her that he looked at her Facebook profile to fall asleep. He once pulled on her bra strap. Her coworkers testified that Jeff looked at Maria in a perverted way as if he was undressing her with his eyes. Because of Jeff’s connection with leadership, Maria feared that being too confrontational with Jeff would jeopardize her advancement. She tried to avoid him and brush him off politely. When that did not work, she complained to Human Resources.
Jeff then began to ignore her entirely. This posed a problem because they still had to work together. Jeff did not respond to her emails nor shared information about upcoming meetings making it difficult for her to perform her work. No investigation took place relating to her complaints of sexual harassment. On the other hand, Human Resources placed her on a performance improvement plan with goal posts that she was unable to satisfy because they were unreasonable. She was ultimately terminated for poor performance while Jeff remained employed.
Maria brought claims for sexual harassment, retaliation for reporting the harassment, failure to prevent these violations and wrongful termination.
Requiring Sexual Favors (Directly or Indirectly) in Return for a Job Benefit is Sexual Harassment
Kendra’s supervisor confided in her that he felt lonely in his marriage. He frequently engaged in sexual banter and when she reacted negatively he gave her a negative performance review. The supervisor offered her job advancement if she cooperated with him in a sexual affair. Kendra declined. The workplace stress exacerbated her pre-existing anxiety and depression so her doctor placed on medical leave. The week her doctor released her to work, she was informed that she was terminated.
Kendra brought claims for sexual harassment, retaliation, failure to prevent these violations, refusal to accommodate her medical leave, and wrongful termination.
You May Have a Sexual Harassment Claim Even if You were Not Personally Touched and No Offensive Remarks were Directed at You
Sexually Charged Atmosphere May Lead to a Hostile Work Environment
Kelly worked at a costume production shop as a designer. Kelly was the only female employee in the Department. She observed that her male co-workers engaged in a daily stream of sexually explicit discussions amongst themselves. They often spoke in crude terms of their sexual exploits with different women. They made sexist comments, spoke negatively about women, used female form mannequins to demonstrate sexual techniques, sang vulgar songs, and looked at pornography at work. Male co-workers also made sexually suggestive comments and showed nude photographs to female employees that passed through the Department. A jury could reasonably find that the men behaved as they did to make Kelly feel uncomfortable and self-conscious and that the their actions were part of an ongoing pattern that was sufficiently pervasive as to alter the conditions of her employment giving rise to a sexual harassment/hostile work environment claim.
Sexual Favoritism May Lead to a Hostile Work Environment
Claudia was a successful recruiter who was a long term employee of the Company. She observed that the CEO engaged in a consensual relationship with subordinates. These favored subordinates came to work late and left early with no consequence while Claudia was criticized for her occasional tardiness.
One of his relationships was with Jennifer, a newly hired recruiter with less experience than Claudia. It was out in the open that Jennifer and the CEO went out together after work. Jennifer was not the best at her job. She often failed to follow up with clients. Yet, Jennifer was assigned to recruit high level employees and work with long standing clients that Claudia usually helped. Leadership required Claudia to pick up the slack. Employer promoted Jennifer over Claudia explaining citing the fact that Jennifer had recently worked on high profile accounts; opportunities that were denied to Claudia. Jennifer became Claudia’s supervisor. Claudia complained to the CFO that she should not have to “sleep her way to the top” and that Jennifer was promoted because of her relationship with the CEO. Thereon, Jennifer became abusive towards Claudia making her work life difficult with demeaning comments in front of other employees, denial of bonus pay, and an increased workload that was difficult to keep up with. But the CEO refused to intervene in response to Claudia’s complaints. Claudia was terminated because she was unable to keep up with an overwhelming workload.
Claudia brought claims for hostile work environment sexual harassment on the basis of sexual favoritism.
In this scenario, the sexual favoritism not only blocked the merit based advancement of Claudia, but also sent a message that the way to advancement was through a sexual relationship.
Speak to a Compassionate Sexual Harassment Attorney for Free
This is not a complete list of all examples of sexual harassment and additional claims that may arise. Even if your situation is not included here, you may still have a claim. Employee Rights Attorney Group provides free consultations to help you determine whether you have a sexual harassment claim and/or additional claims. Speaking with a sexual harassment attorney in Los Angeles may help you navigate a difficult situation.