Colianni Law Offices, LLC

Call Us412-943-0007

4001 Village Run Road, Wexford, PA 15090

What Is Sexual Harassment?

Franklin Park Sexual Harassment Lawyer

Workplace Sex Discrimination Lawyer in Allegheny County, PA

Any type of employment discrimination that takes the form of physical or verbal abuse of a sexual nature may be considered sexual harassment. Victims of sexual harassment may be forced to deal with negative effects such as the inability to do their job properly, psychological and emotional trauma, and often, the desire to leave their positions to get away from the harassment. If you have experienced any form of workplace sexual harassment, the skilled team at Colianni Law Offices, LLC is here to help you understand and protect your rights.

It is important to realize that sexual harassment is considered a type of employment discrimination and is prohibited by several state and federal laws. Perhaps the most well-known federal statute is Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which expressly outlaws two distinct forms of sexual harassment: quid pro quo harassment and hostile work environments.

Understanding Quid Pro Quo Sexual Harassment

"Quid pro quo" is a Latin phrase that is translated into English as "something for something"—in other words, giving something to get something. When applied to workplace sexual harassment, quid pro quo usually refers to a person in a position of authority requesting a date, attention, or other sexual favors in exchange for a work-related benefit or incentive. In a surprisingly large number of situations, such requests are overt, but they do not need to be. If your supervisor or manager even implies that you will lose out on a raise, promotion, or another benefit unless you give in to his or her requests, it may be considered sexual harassment.

Unlike other areas of the law, you do not need to suffer financial or physical harm to file a claim for quid pro quo sexual harassment. You will only be required to prove that your supervisor made unwelcome and inappropriate requests and that some part of your job could have been affected by your response to the requests.

Hostile Work Environment Sexual Harassment

A hostile work environment may be created when sexual harassment in the workplace is so pervasive and or severe that the average person would find it offensive. If sexual harassment directly affects a victim's ability to do his or her job, it may also be considered hostile environment harassment. Most cases of hostile work environment sexual harassment occur over an extended period of time and may include more than one abuser. It is important to remember, however, that a single incident perpetrated by a single person may be hostile environment harassment if it is severe or threatening enough.

This type of sexual harassment includes direct sexual advances, unwanted sexual contact, sexual innuendoes or comments made toward or about the victim, explicit or sexually-charged jokes, pornographic emails or printed materials displayed in a common area, and watching or spying on a victim in a restroom, locker room, or changing area.

Proving hostile work environment harassment requires showing that a reasonable person would object to the behavior in question. This means that relatively minor, isolated incidents may not be considered sexual harassment. The team at Colianni Law Offices, LLC can assist you in evaluating the details of your case and can help you take the appropriate action.

Call 412-943-0007 Today

If you have experienced quid pro quo harassment or hostile environment harassment, contact our office. Call 412-943-0007 for a free consultation with a knowledgeable and experienced workplace discrimination lawyer. We represent clients throughout Allegheny County, and there are no fees unless you collect compensation.

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