Being sexually harassed while at work is a violation of your rights on multiple levels. If you’ve experienced this, it’s important to get in touch with an experienced Delaware sexual harassment attorney right away to see what your options are. Contact one today.
In January of 2019, Delaware followed suit of other states in the country when it brought mandatory anti-sexual harassment training legislation to the table via the Delaware Discrimination in Employment Act (DDEA).
Under this law, all employers with 50 or more employees must give anti-sexual harassment training to all full-time employees, part-time employees, interns, and apprentices. Applicants and independent contractors do not apply.
Guides are available for the training, but most importantly, the training has to include:
- The illegality of sexual harassment;
- The definition of sexual harassment using examples;
- The legal remedies and complaint process available to the employee;
- Directions on how to contact the Delaware Department of Labor; and
- The legal prohibition against retaliation.
Companies that failed to do this – and failed to prevent an incidence of sexual harassment – may face hefty fines. It will also hurt their defense if in a lawsuit.
Is sexual harassment illegal?
Sexual harassment is illegal under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Title VII prohibits all forms of sex-based discrimination, and sexual harassment is included in it. At the state level, the Delaware Fair Employment Practices Act (DFEP) also prohibits employment practices that discriminate against people based on sex, marital status, sexual orientation, or gender identity. The DFEP applies to all public and private companies that have more than 4 employees.
Sexual harassment lawsuits can come in many different forms, stemming from a lot of types of misconduct. However, we can generally break almost all cases of sexual harassment into two main categories. These are:
- Quid pro quo
- Hostile work environment
Quid pro quo sexual harassment is when someone tries to exchange a job benefit for sexual favors. A classic example is a boss pressuring an intern into sex in exchange for a promotion, or a pay raise.
Hostile work environment is when someone is subject to some type of act or misconduct that puts them in a sexually hostile work environment. This can include, but it is not limited to:
- Unwanted sexual advances, groping, sexual assault.
- Rude, crude comments
- Exposing ones private parts or hanging explicit photos
Anyone wishing to file a lawsuit must first file a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), or the Delaware Department of Labor (DDOL) within one year of the last incident. Because of this time constraint, it’s really crucial to act quickly in order to be successful with your allegations.
Do you need help with a sexual harassment lawsuit in Delaware?
Qualified attorneys are waiting to assist you in any city, statewide, from Wilmont to Westfield.