Questions You May Have Before Filing A Sexual Harassment Case
If you have been sexually harassed at work, then you absolutely have the right to file a case against your employer. However, as this can be a very sensitive topic, you probably have a few questions you'd like answered before you march into the lawyer's office and sign a contract. Here are the answers to those likely questions.
Can comments on clothing really be considered sexual harassment?
If someone at work has been commenting on your clothing in a sexual way, you may hesitate to file a case figuring that the court will see this as the perpetrator just trying to pay you a compliment. But paying a compliment and sexually harassing you by commenting on your clothing are two different things. Simply saying "I like your skirt" or "that color looks good on you." is not harassment. It could be, however, if the coworker makes a lewd gesture when making the compliment. If they follow up their initial comment with something like "It makes your butt look good," then that's also sexual harassment. Chances are, if the comments are making you uncomfortable, then it's because they're being delivered in a harassing manner.
Can you get fired for filing a case against a coworker or employer?
So many people do not file a lawsuit because they fear they'll get fired for doing so. Your boss may fire you for filing this case, but they cannot do so legally. If they do fire you, they are doing what the court refers to as "retaliating." They will then be charged with unlawful discrimination, which won't bode well for them. Unless your employer is completely clueless regarding the law, you should not have to worry about them letting you go because you filed this case.
Do you have to quit your job in order to file a case?
If you cannot bear to work in this environment anymore, then feel free to quit. But there is no reason you have to. Some people assume that they have to quit in order to prove that the situation really was that bad, but this is not the case. The judge will understand that you need to earn an income and therefore are unable to leave even though you feel uncomfortable.
If you have any lingering questions before filing your case, speak with a sexual harassment attorney. Most offer free consultations and will give you some insight before you have to decide whether to file a case or not.