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Princeton Employment Law Attorney Fighting Sexual Harassment in the Workplace

Sexual harassment is one of the most commonly-occurring forms of discrimination in the workplace today. Sexual harassment takes on many different forms, from supervisors pressuring their subordinates into romantic relationships to co-workers creating a hostile work environment for persons of the opposite sex, and even of the same sex in many circumstances. Employment discrimination attorney Kay Bayless of the Bayless Law Firm fights sexual harassment in workplaces in Princeton and throughout southern West Virginia.

The Bayless firm stands up for victims of all types of sexual harassment, including the two most common forms – Quid Pro Quo and Hostile Work Environment.

Quid Pro Quo Sexual Harassment

When sexual harassment was first recognized as a legal action in the 1970’s, most people thought of only quid pro quo sexual harassment. This Latin phrase means simply that one person is giving something in exchange for getting something in return. In the context of sexual harassment, it refers to the situation where a supervisor requires a subordinate to perform a sexual act, go out on a date, or do anything of a romantic or sexual nature in order to receive a raise or other favorable working conditions, or to avoid getting fired, demoted, transferred or otherwise disciplined or treated unfavorably.

Hostile Work Environment

While the quid pro quo type of harassment still goes on today, most people these days think of sexual harassment in the context of a hostile workplace. A hostile work environment is created when an employee is subjected to unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature that is so severe and pervasive that it creates an intimidating atmosphere that interferes with the employee’s ability to do his or her job. A hostile workplace can be created by a supervisor or by other co-workers, and the harassment may be committed by men against women, women against men, or by members of the same sex.

Typical examples of behavior creating a hostile work environment include:

  • Unwelcome touching or groping another person; feeling their clothes or hair
  • Standing in someone’s way and intentionally blocking their attempts to get by
  • Using sexually explicit language, making comments about a person’s body, or telling dirty jokes
  • Sending sexually suggestive notes, texts or emails, drawing graffiti in the bathrooms, or posting pornographic pictures or cartoons in locker rooms, lounges or workspaces
  • Making obscene, rude or inappropriate gestures

Help is Available for Difficult Sexual Harassment Cases in Southern West Virginia

Sexual harassment matters can be difficult and challenging cases to bring. For instance, there are many different objective and subjective elements that must be demonstrated by the worker in order to prove a case of hostile work environment. Even proving a case of quid pro quo sexual harassment can be difficult, as there may be nothing in writing, and the conversations between employee and management may have taken place in private. Fortunately, attorney Kay Bayless has over 35 years of experience handling sexual harassment and employment discrimination matters. She knows what it takes to prepare a strong and persuasive case before the EEOC, the West Virginia Human Rights Commission, or in state or federal court. If you have suffered from unlawful sexual harassment in the workplace, contact the Bayless Law Firm in Princeton for a free consultation regarding your rights and remedies under the law.

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