Making Employers Accountable for Sexual Harassment
Unwelcome Advances • Quid Pro Quo • Hostile Work Environment
Sexual harassment in the workplace occurred for many centuries before the Civil Rights Act. Unfortunately, it is still prevalent in the American workplace despite this landmark federal legislation, decades of established case law and policies instituted by employers.
If you have been subjected to unwanted sexual advances or demeaning behavior that interfered with your job, or if you suffered adverse employment action for reporting sexual harassment, the employment law attorneys of Feldman Morgado, P.A., will forcefully assert your rights and demand your remedies under the law.
Make It Stop. Make Them Pay.
We have prevailed in sexual harassment litigation on behalf of women and men in the metro Atlanta area and North Georgia. Contact us today for a free, confidential consultation.
What Constitutes Sexual Harassment or a Hostile Work Environment?
Employment-related sexual harassment is illegal under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 as a form of sex discrimination. It takes many forms, including:
- Unwelcome sexual advances — requests for sex, stalking behavior
- Quid pro quo — sexual favors in exchange for continued employment or job perks
- Groping, touching, ogling or suggestive comments about a person's body
- Sexually explicit images, e-mails, voicemail or text messages
- Derogatory and offensive comments about women
The harasser can be an owner or supervisor, a co-worker, or a customer or client. The victim can be female or male, and the harasser can be the opposite gender or the same sex.
Not all offensive or unwelcome conduct constitutes harassment. To become actionable, the conduct must be unwelcome and it must:
1) Unreasonably interfere with the victim's work performance or create an intimidating, offensive or hostile work environment
2) Lead to adverse employment action against the accuser, including termination, demotion, transfer, disciplinary sanctions, harassment or other retaliation for reporting harassment.
A sexual harassment lawsuit is a claim against the company for fostering the behavior or failing to take appropriate action. The complainant has an obligation to report sexual harassment to a supervisor or human resource agent, even at the risk of retaliation or discharge. Many lawsuits fail because the victim never reported the behavior at the time and complained only after suffering in silence for months or quitting the job.
A claim of sexual advances or quid pro quo sexual harassment will often come down to "he said/she said" or a defense of mutual flirtation or consensual sex. This is why it is important to document and report the behavior and any implied or explicit employment threats.
A claim of hostile working environment must show that the behavior was frequent and severe to the point that the person could not function in the workplace and suffered great anxiety about coming to work. Again, documentation of the offensive behavior and the employer's response can be critical.
Atlanta Sexual Harassment Attorneys
Feldman Morgado has handled employment litigation via the EEOC and the Georgia Human Relations Commission. Our lawyers and staff will help you document and file a claim, and represent you in your state or federal court lawsuit.
Remedy could include job reinstatement, but most victims have no wish to go back. The victim may be entitled to monetary damages such as back pay, front pay and intentional infliction of emotional distress, as well as attorney fees and possible punitive damages for egregious harassment or employer retaliation.
To discuss your case with an experienced Decatur harassment attorney, please contact us for a free consultation. Managing Shareholder Mitchell Feldman is licensed to practice in state and federal courts of Georgia and oversees our Atlanta office.