Sexual harassment is a serious crime in Salt Lake City, UT and anyone found committing this transgression will be brought to justice. Incidents can range in severity or frequency but all sexual harassment includes a behavior that is unwanted and unsolicited by the victim. Anyone subjected to unwelcome sexual conduct has the right to seek help to protect themselves, and we are here to help ensure Salt Lake City residents are fully aware of all their options when it comes to reporting a case and what their rights are when it comes to workplace safety.
Below are some important facts regarding sexual harassment laws in Salt Lake City that all workers should know in order to put an end to perpetrator’s behavior.
Identifying Sexual Harassment in Salt Lake City, UT
Sexual harassment is considered to be a form of workplace discrimination. Similar to laws protecting employees against discrimination at work over disabilities or racial profiling, there are laws in Salt Lake City that are designed to protect against sexual discrimination. But first, it’s important to identify what kinds of actions constitute sexual harassment in order to understand if you are eligible to seek legal help.
According to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), sexual harassment is defined as follows:
Unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature constitutes sexual harassment when submission to or rejection of this conduct explicitly or implicitly affects an individual’s employment, unreasonably interferes with an individual’s work performance or creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive work environment.
A hostile work environment is one that inhibits employees from carrying out their job-related duties or which makes employees feel afraid to come to work. Many sexual harassment victims never report their suffering and are affected so profoundly that they may even resign because they fear for their safety. Even workers who aren’t directly targeted by offenders can be affected by the incidents. Sexual harassment creates a negative environment for everyone and breeds contempt and violence.
Anyone who has been victimized by a sexual offender in Salt Lake City or who has witnessed offensive or lewd conduct has a right to come forward and file a formal complaint. The following are some examples of commonly reported sexual harassment incidents, but if you suspect you may be a victim, do not hesitate in informing your employer about what’s going on.
Examples of Sexual Harassment and Discrimination:
- Jokes or comments about someone’s body, clothing, sexual orientation, or sex life
- Rumors about an employee’s private sex life or sexual orientation
- Discrimination against a worker because of gender or sexual orientation
- General lewd comments that can be found offensive
- Repeated requests for a date or sexual favor
- Quid pro quo (this for that) sexual requests in which a victim is offered a benefit like a promotion in exchange for complying with sexual requests
- Denying someone a position at work because of gender, sexual orientation or refusal to submit to sexual demands
- Looking at someone up and down provocatively
- Blocking someone’s path
- Sending sexual letters or emails
- Incessant sexual phone calls or text messages
- Taking pictures of a worker without their consent
- Putting up sexual photos or screen savers at a work desk
- Making lewd gestures or facial expressions
- Any form of unwanted and inappropriate touching, including hugging, kissing, groping or giving someone a massage against their will
- Physical attack, including rape or attempted rape
Laws Protecting Victims of Sexual Harassment in Salt Lake City, UT
In Salt Lake City, it is against the law (both state and federal) to commit any form of sexual harassment at a workplace. Those who are found guilty of this behavior or employers who fail to follow through after receiving a complaint of harassment at the workplace may be subject to legal action and may be liable for money damages to the victim.
Both Utah and federal laws give every employee the right to work in a safe environment, free of hostility, discrimination and fear. When sexual harassment occurs, this right is violated and victims should not have to put up with it.
The law also protects against retaliation at the workplace by an offender or by an employer. Retaliation can include physically hurting someone or affecting their position in any negative way, including demoting, reassigning or firing a worker. Seek legal help in the event any of the following occur:
- Retaliation after victim refuses to submit to sexual demands
- Retaliation after victim or witness files a sexual harassment complaint
- Retaliation against workers who cooperate with a sexual harassment investigation
Taking Legal Action
If you have suffered sexual harassment directly or have been negatively affected by an offender’s actions, you have the right to file a complaint with your employer and if nothing is done to put an end to the unwanted conduct, you have a right to turn to a Salt Lake City sexual harassment attorney to file a formal case.
Many victims refuse to take action out of fear or embarrassment, but the truth is that offenders rarely cease their conduct unless something drastic is done to bring the behaviors to light. The longer a victim waits to report an incident, the more the offender can increase the frequency or severity of their actions or even target new victims. Whether the behavior in question is relatively mild or extremely severe, if you or someone you work with has suffered due to the unwanted sexual conduct of a co-worker, boss or even a contract worker, you can consult with an experienced sexual harassment lawyer in the city who will file a case and make sure the perpetrator is brought to justice.
In addition to each Salt Lake City employee’s right to a hostility-free workplace, the victims of sexual harassment in the city may also be eligible to receive compensation for their pain and suffering, which you attorney will help you secure. With your lawyer’s help, you may be able to walk away from your case with thousands, or possibly even millions of dollars in money damages, lost wages and medical care coverage.
Don’t allow the offender to create a fearsome environment at work. Turn to a sexual harassment lawyer in Salt Lake City today to discuss your options in filing a case and ensure your rights are protected.