Sexual harassment has long plagued the workplaces of many industries for a long time, which is why laws and legislation continue to be passed over the years to protect victims. These laws serve as a strong deterrent, ensuring guilty parties never even consider the possibility of committing these unforgivable crimes.
If you’ve been the victim of sexual harassment in the workplace, know that what you’ve experienced is illegal. In Indiana, you have plenty of legal options to pursue justice with a sexual harassment lawsuit. Depending on your case, you may be entitled to significant compensation.
Your first step is to get in touch with an experienced Indiana sexual harassment lawyer to see what your options are.
What are the laws on sexual harassment?
All states in the country are subject to the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which contains Title VII. Title VII prohibits all forms of sex-based discrimination, and sexual harassment is under that umbrella. The Act applies to all employers in both the private and public sectors with more than 15 employees.
Indiana also has its own state-level law covering sexual harassment called the Indiana Civil Rights Law. This law has ostensibly the same statutes as its federal big brother, but applies to employers with 6 employees rather than 15. This means that people in smaller companies may be forced to cite state-level legislation instead of Title VII when filing a sexual harassment lawsuit.
What constitutes sexual harassment?
Sexual harassment can come in many different forms, but to simplify it, we can generally break up all lawsuits into two categories. These are:
- Quid pro quo sexual harassment: This scenario usually involves a power imbalance between two people in a company or organization. Most of the time, it’s a boss or high-ranking employee trying to exchange a job benefit like a pay raise or promotion with a lower-ranking employee for sexual favors. A classic scenario is a boss bribing his secretary with a pay raise in exchange for her sleeping with him.
- Hostile work environment sexual harassment: This scenario is when the victim is subject to some type of act or behavior that puts them in a “hostile work environment.” This can include, but isn’t limited to:
- Unwanted sexual advances, groping, touching, patting, or more explicit sexual assault or rape.
- Sexual comments, whether verbal or written
- Stalking; following someone home or waiting by their car at the end of the day
- Unsolicited nude or pornographic videos.
How do I file a sexual harassment lawsuit in Indiana?
Anyone wishing to file a sexual harassment lawsuit has to first file a claim with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) within 300 days of their last experience. You may be asked to participate in an investigation while the commission legitimizes your claim.
Are you looking for compensation in a sexual harassment lawsuit?
Indiana-based sexual harassment lawyers are waiting to assist you all over the state, including Auburn. Get in touch today.