Sexual harassment has been a problem for ages. As the population increased and society became more civilized, the level of acceptance and tolerance of this abuse has decreased. In today’s civilized society, sexual harassment is neither appropriate nor acceptable behavior.
We have represented numerous parties in relation to sexual harassment issues. We obtained a judgment of $1,000,000 for an employee who was sexually assaulted by her supervisor.
Sexual harassment occurs in many places, both on the job and off the job. Sexual harassment takes many different forms and may range from inappropriate comments to physical contact which is neither welcomed nor well-received.
Any “unwelcome sexual advance” may turn into sexual harassment. A sexual advance is an overture, whether by way of words or by physical contact, which has as its primary object the subject of a relationship or experience between two persons which involves sexual contact. An unwelcome sexual advance is an overture which is neither wanted, appreciated, desired, welcomed or enjoyed.
Sexual harassment may stem from one or more incidents of an unwelcome sexual advance. A single incident may constitute sexual harassment, depending upon the nature of the incident. Conduct not involving physical contact may also constitute sexual harassment, again depending upon its nature and severity.
If you experience an unwelcome sexual advance, take appropriate action to either stop the incident from turning into sexual harassment or to properly document the situation for future reference.
Four important rules are:
Make a written record of every unwelcome sexual advance.
Make the written record immediately after the incident occurs.
Tell the offender you do not approve of the conduct.
If the advances do not stop, report the conduct to the offender’s supervisor and ask the supervisor to take action to stop the conduct from happening again.
Some people do not realize that their conduct is offensive. In these situations, a polite message to the offender may be all that is necessary to resolve the problem.
While some level of such sexual aggression is normal human behavior, society places limits upon our conduct. Because many unwelcome sexual advances occur without witnesses present and without video cameras rolling, it is important to document each and every incident immediately after it occurs.
Write down exactly what happened. Indicate the date, time, place, and all other circumstances surrounding the incident. If you cannot resolve the problem, consider the following:
Should you see a lawyer?
If you see a lawyer, bring your written record with you.
What can you do to avoid the offender?
What relief do you want?
Does your problem justify the expense of hiring a lawyer?
Is a lawyer’s intervention likely to make the problem worse?
If you would like to pursue a claim of sexual harassment involving an Arizona resident or company, or if you live in Arizona and have been unfairly accused of sexual harassment and want to be defended, call our office for a telephonic consultation.