Standing up to and taking action against sexual harassment

From an off-color joke or inappropriate comment to actual propositions and unwanted physical advances; millions of women and men have been the victims of sexual harassment in the workplace. Frequently, actions that constitute as sexual harassment are initially brushed off in hopes the perpetrator will stop. In many cases, however, the behavior persists and intensifies in nature leaving a victim feeling upset, angry, confused, violated and embarrassed.

A woman who works as an executive assistant at a successful business management firm recently filed a sexual harassment lawsuit against her employer. In the lawsuit, the woman claims she was the victim of "inappropriate, unwelcome and generally racist comments" and actions at the hands of her boss.

In her complaint the 30-year-old single mother, who is of middle-eastern decent, detailed some of the disturbing comments her boss made in which he propositioned her for sex, called her a terrorist and commented on her body. What’s more, the woman claims it was her, and not her boss, who was punished after she filed complaints about his behavior with her employer's human resources department.

As a result of the unrelenting sexual harassment campaign waged against her, the woman has suffered tremendous physical and emotional stress and damage. She claims her employer did nothing to stop the harassment and instead took actions to actively "intimidate and retaliate against her."

No woman or man should ever put up with sexual harassment in the workplace. Whether the perpetrator is a boss or peer, sexual harassment is defined as being any "unwelcome verbal, visual, or physical conduct of a sexual nature that is severe or pervasive and affects working conditions or creates a hostile work environment." An individual who believes they have been the victim of sexual harassment would be wise to discuss their case with an attorney who handles employment law matters.

Source: Gothamist, "Woman Files Sexual Harassment Suit Against Boss Who Allegedly Wooed Her With Racist Insults," Gabrielle Sierra, July 24, 2014

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