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Think Colorado doesn’t have a sexual harassment problem? Think again.
According to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, almost 600 sexual discrimination reports were filed in 2014 alone, making up more than 2 percent of all the sexual discrimination cases filed in the country. While that number is dropping, 752 cases were filed in 2009, it shows that we still have a long way to go to end this type of discrimination and harassment. No one should go to work in Colorado and have to face a hostile work environment.
Sexual harassment occurs in Colorado more than any other type of discrimination except Retaliation. It happens more than race, religion, color, or national origin discrimination. Who is responsible for most cases of sexual discrimination and harassment? The National Sexual Violence Resource Center reports that 56 percent of those who sexually harass in the workplace are co-workers. The rest are customers, supervisors, and vendors.
Sexual harassment can include sexual jokes, lewd gestures, degrading or humiliating email, texts, and comments. It can include subjecting someone to sexually explicit materials or insulting behavior. The victims of sexual harassment can be not only the person the harassment is aimed at but anyone who is offended by the behaviors or conduct.
Sexual harassment in the workplace is a form of discrimination and is illegal under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Under this law, the act of sexual harassment is deemed illegal when it is a condition for keeping your job or when the harassment is pervasive or severe enough that a reasonable person would consider it a hostile, intimidating, or abusive work environment.
If you are sexually harassed at your place of work, your employer is automatically liable for that harassment whether it is a co-worker, supervisor, customer, vendor, or contractor that does it as long as the employer knew or should have known about the sexual harassment failed to promptly and appropriately take action to correct the situation. An employer may not be held liable if it reasonably tried to correct the sexual harassment and you did not utilize the corrective measures established by your employer.
We represent employees who are being or who have been a victim of sexual harassment at work. Sexual harassment in the workplace is a form of discrimination and is illegal under federal and Colorado discrimination laws. Sexual harassment and discrimination are complex issues so we have compiled some of the most common questions we hear from our clients.
Yes, federal and state laws work to protect you from sexual harassment on the job. However, you have the responsibility of informing your supervisor of the sexual harassment and taking advantage of any opportunities you employer establishes to help stop the sexual harassment. If your employer does not stop the harassment, they may be liable under the law. Talk to your discrimination attorney as soon as possible.
Sexual harassments laws protect all individuals, regardless of gender. If you are suffering sexual harassment at work, whether it from a woman or a man, you need to inform your supervisor of the seriousness of the matter and follow any established policies or procedures regarding discrimination in the workplace. If the harassment continues, speak to your attorney. They can help you file a legal complaint and stop the discriminatory behavior at work.
Federal law prohibits your employer from retaliating against you for filing a sexual harassment complaint on behalf of yourself or your co-worker. Federal law also protects you should be involved in the sexual harassment investigation or hearing. The law is on your side, so don’t be afraid to speak up for your co-worker. If you believe your employer is retaliating against you for reporting sexual harassment, speak to a discrimination attorney as soon as possible. They will fight for your rights and protections under the law.
We know how important your job is, and we know how difficult it is to go to work each day and endure sexual harassment. The Ramos Law Firm advocates for the rights of all employees to work in an environment that is free from harassment and abuse. Our attorneys stand ready to fight for those who work in hostile environments and we hold employers responsible for permitting sexual harassment to occur in the workplace.
If you are suffering at work with sexual harassment, you may be able to take steps to stop the harassment and prevent it from occurring again. If you think you have been sexually harassed, we want to help you. Contact our team at Ramos Law today.
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