Gresham Employment Lawyers
It is illegal to discriminate or harass another person due to his or her gender or sexual orientation. Sexual harassment can have a serious impact on the victim’s mental well-being and may cause long-term psychological damage and emotional distress. Unfortunately, many people in professional, work and social settings are subjected to unwanted inappropriate behavior that is considered sexual harassment. If you or someone you know has been the victim of workplace sexual harassment, do not hesitate to contact an experienced employment lawyer in Gresham to discuss filing a claim.
At Rizk Law, we are committed to helping advance a safe and fair workplace that enables employees to feel comfortable and be free from harassment. We provide free and confidential consultations to victims of sexual harassment to help them determine if they have a case against their harasser. This may include the victim’s supervisor, boss, employer, co-worker or a third-party individual present in their workplace. We accept clients in and around Gresham and will represent you on a contingency fee basis. This means we will not charge you upfront legal fees for our services. Our labor and employment lawyers in Gresham only require payment if we recover compensation for you. There is no risk in contacting us to schedule a free, no obligation consultation.
Call 503.245.5677 to get started now.
When is Sexual Harassment Illegal?
Sexual harassment is a type of behavior that includes unwanted interactions that makes the victim feel uncomfortable and powerless. This may include unwanted sexual advances, inappropriate remarks about the victim’s sex or appearance, or request for sexual favors. Sexual harassment is also an illegal form of discrimination that violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
According to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), inappropriate behavior can be characterized as sexual harassment when it is considered “unwelcomed” by the victim. The behavior must be subjectively abusive to the affected victim. Likewise, it must be objectively severe and pervasive enough to create an environment that most people would find hostile and abusive.
When Gresham employment lawyers investigate your claim, we will review the harasser’s behavior to determine if it can be considered pervasive or severe. We may conclude if the perpetrator’s actions can be categorized as harassment by examining the following qualities:
- The regularity in which the perpetrator initiated unwelcomed or discriminatory conduct
- The severity of the perpetrator’s behavior
- The unwanted conduct was humiliating, offensive, or physically threatening
- The perpetrator’s behavior affected the victim’s ability to perform his or her job
- The harasser’s conduct had an adverse effect on the victim’s well-being
- The victim was harassed by his or her superior or by someone who had considerable weight within the company, corporation or organization
During your free and confidential consultation, our Gresham labor and employment lawyers will carefully consider every factor that occurred to determine if the perpetrator’s behavior may be considered sexual harassment. This includes whether the harasser’s conduct created a hostile working environment where the victim felt threatened or discriminated against. If we find the harasser’s comments, actions or behavior crossed a line that constitutes offensive behavior in the workplace, we will help you explore your options to file a claim.
Contact Rizk Law for qualified legal representation.
Type of Sexual Harassment Common in the Workplace
Sexual harassment can include any type of conduct that includes unwelcomed advances, offensive language or discrimination against a person because of his or her sex. The U.S. Department of Labor recognizes two types of sexual harassment in the workplace:
Hostile Work Environment
Unwelcomed sexual advances can create a hostile work environment for a victim if he or she refuses to cooperate with the harasser’s behavior. This may occur when an employee is subjected to the unwelcomed conduct of his or her supervisors, co-workers, customers or third-party contractors.
Unwelcomed conduct can be considered any type of behavior that makes the workplace atmosphere intimidating, hostile or offensive. This may include:
- Unnecessary touching
- Commenting on physical appearances
- Displaying sexually suggestive pictures
- Using inappropriate or demeaning language, terms or epithets
- Using indecent gestures
- Sabotaging the victim’s work due to his or her sex
- Engaging in hostile physical conduct
- Telling inappropriate jokes concerning sex or gender
- Discussing sexual activities
- Using indecent gestures
Quid Pro Quo
Quid pro quo harassment occurs when an employment decision is based on an acceptance or rejection of the harasser’s unwelcomed sexual advances or request for sexual favors. This kind of harassment is typically committed by someone who can make or recommend an official employment decision, such as a demotion, reassignment of work duties, a denial of a promotion or termination of employment.
Some common examples of quid pro quo harassment include:
- Supervisor fires or denies the victim a promotion because he or she refuses to be sexually cooperative
- Supervisor requires the victim to engage in sexual activities as a condition of his or her employment
- Supervisor offers a promotion or shows preferential treatment to subordinates who cooperate with his or her sexual advances
Sexual harassment and assault is a serious offense that may cause victims to suffer long-term emotional and psychological damage. As trusted labor and employment lawyers in Gresham, we strongly believe that harassers should be held accountable for their unwelcomed conduct, regardless of the type of behavior or advances. If you or someone you know is being subjected to unwanted sexual advances or behavior, contact Rizk Law today to schedule a free and confidential consultation. We will not hesitate to hold your harasser liable for the damage he or she has caused.
Call 503.245.5677 today to find out if you have a case.
Compensation for a Sexual Harassment Claim
During you free and confidential consultation, a Gresham labor and employment lawyer can review your claim to determine if you may be entitled to recover compensation for the damages you suffered. The amount of compensation you may pursue can vary depending on which agency you file a claim with. However, there are several types of damages you may be entitled to pursue, such as:
- Income you lost due to sexual harassment or discrimination
- Bonuses, commissions, retirement benefits, or increase in pay that you were denied by your harasser
- Compensation for emotional distress you suffered due to harassment
- Compensation for medical treatment you received due to harassment or assault
- Reinstatement to your previously held position or denied promotion if you were demoted or terminated due to harassment
- Future lost earnings if you cannot be reinstated to your previously held position
- Compensation for pain and suffering you may have experienced after being harassed
- Loss of enjoyment of life
In addition to the damages you may receive through a claim or lawsuit, you may be entitled to recover punitive damages from your employer. Punitive damages is a type of financial punishment courts impose to deter others from committing similar actions as the at-fault party. However, the EEOC imposes limits on the amount of compensatory and punitive damages you can recover, depending on the size of your employer:
- Employers with 15-100 employees: $50,000
- Employers with 101-200 employees: $100,000
- Employers with 201-500 employees: $200,000
- Employers with more than 500 employees: $300,000
For cases involved sex-based wage discrimination, the EEOC does not allow victims to recover either compensatory or punitive damages, according to the Equal Pay Act. However, victims may be entitled to “liquidated damages” that are awarded to punish malicious or reckless acts of discrimination. The amount of liquidated damages that you can be awarded is equal to the amount of back pay you may have received due to discrimination.
To learn more about recovering compensation, call 503.245.5677.
Protection from Retaliation for Filing a Sexual Harassment Claim
In some cases, victims who report sexual harassment, assault or discrimination experience retaliation from their employer, supervisor or co-workers. The EEOC prohibits workplace retaliation or punishing employees who assert their right to be free from employment discrimination. This includes:
- Reporting or filing a complaint for sexual harassment or discrimination
- Participating as a witness in a sexual harassment or discrimination lawsuit or investigation
- Resisting the harasser’s sexual advances
- Reporting sexual assault
- Discussing the harassment with a supervisor, manager or employer
Once you have filed a claim or reported sexual harassment or discrimination, your employer is not allowed to retaliate in any way. Some common examples of retaliation include:
- Reprimanding the employee or giving a performance evaluation lower than it should be
- Demoting or transferring an employee to another position or area of the company
- Engaging in verbal or physical abuse
- Making or threatening to report the employee to authorities, such as law enforcement or reporting his or her immigration status
- Increased scrutiny
- Spreading false rumors about the employee
- Mistreating the employee’s family members, such as canceling a contract with his or her spouse
- Making the employee’s work more difficult or inconvenient, such as changing the employees work schedule to conflict with his or her personal life
Rizk Law’s Gresham labor and employment attorneys are dedicated to defending the rights of employees who have suffered due to sexual harassment or discrimination. This includes your right to report your harasser and see positive changes implemented in your workplace. If you believe you have experienced retaliation due to reporting unwelcomed sexual advances or filing a complaint against your harasser, do not hesitate to contact us for qualified legal representation.
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Contact Rizk Law’s Labor & Employment Lawyers in Gresham
If you or someone you know is being harassed or discriminated against by his or her employer, supervisor or co-worker, do not hesitate to report the incident. If you are unable to resolve the issue, consider consulting with an experienced employment attorney in Gresham.
Rizk Law will provide a free consultation to help you understand which legal options may be available to you. Our consultation is completely confidential and comes with no obligation of hiring our team of qualified attorneys. We charge our clients on a contingency fee basis and do not require upfront legal fees to represent you. This means you will only need to pay for our services if we recover compensation for you. There is no risk in contacting us to discuss your options for pursuing a claim against your harasser.
Call 503.245.5677 for a free and confidential consultation.