Kansas Sexual Harassment Law
Typically, when you think about sexual abuse in the workplace, you envision male-on-female harassment. But sexual harassment can be perpetrated by both sexes, and sometimes, it can happen between two people of the same sex. In Kansas, workers are not only protected from sexual harassment at the federal level through Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, they are also afforded rights against discrimination at the state level.
The Kansas Act Against Discrimination prohibits anyone to discriminate against an individual in the workplace on the basis of gender. Sexual harassment is, for all intents and purposes, considered “sexual” harassment since it is based on sex and discriminating against someone due to the characteristics of gender. The Kansas Act Against Discrimination applies to any company, both private and public, with four or more workers. A recent addition to the act is that no employer shall legally discriminate against someone based on their sexual orientation.
Sexual harassment can take on many forms and behaviors
Sexual harassment typically isn’t just one incident, but a series of pervasive intimidation and threatening of someone in the workplace that is either used to gain sexual favors by someone in authority or to create an overall hostile atmosphere that disrupts someone from being able to perform their work duties.
Sexually harassing behaviors are those that any reasonable person would find offensive. A “reasonable person” is a legal constraint that maintains that if any “reasonable” person were in the same position as the person filing a claim for sexual harassment, they would also find the behavior to be offensive, threatening, and hostile. To claim sexual harassment, the behaviors must be repetitious and pervasive enough to create an atmosphere that is intimidating and threatening.
Examples of sexually harassing behaviors include sexual innuendos, derogatory statements and remarks, sexually explicit images or materials, inappropriate sexual jokes and nonconsensual touching.
There are other times when sexual harassment can be in the form of “quid pro quo.” Stemming from Latin, quid pro quo sexual harassment is when a supervisor or boss requests a sexual act or favor in exchange for either promising you a perk or advancement in your career, or they implicitly or explicitly make you feel coerced to comply with their request or face negative consequences. If a supervisor or boss threatens to demote, terminate, or in some instances not hire you, based on you not acquiescing to their sexual request, that is grounds for a sexual harassment claim.
When it is time to file a claim
If you have made both the harasser and your employer (or HR department) aware of the misconduct and they have done nothing to address it or to make the situation better, then there are times when you have to escalate your case to filing a claim. The first step is to file an official claim at the state and federal levels through the Equal Opportunities Employment Commission. To ensure that you are filing correctly and that you have the evidence you might need should the case proceed, you need to hire a Kansas sexual harassment attorney to guide you through the process.
The company or organization that you work for should have a sexual harassment claim process in place, and it is critical that you follow it exactly as you should to get your case resolved. If you have made both the employer and the harasser know that you want the harassment to stop, and it doesn’t, then you might be able to receive fair compensation for your damages.
What am I entitled to if I can prove that I am the victim of sexual harassment in Kansas?
If you can prove that you have been the victim of sexual harassment in Kansas, then you might be entitled to hold your employer liable if you can prove they knew and did nothing to help. The types of damages you are entitled to will depend on the severity of the sexual harassment and what you have lost both emotionally and financially as a result of the inactivity of your supervisor or employer. To ensure that you receive fair compensation and can get back to work in a healthier and non-threatening environment, consult USAttorneys.com to find and talk to a Kansas sexual harassment attorney to guide you through process of proving your sexual harassment case in court.