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How do you bring a sexual harassment claim?

Sexual harassment is an unfortunately common feature of workplaces across the country and the world. While there have been considerable efforts to increase awareness of it and of the fact that people have a right to workplaces free from it, it still persists.

Reporting it and, if necessary, taking legal action against those perpetrating it or allowing it to happen is therefore crucial to try and eradicate it.

There are two ways to bring a sexual harassment claim in the U.S.

Under United States law, you can bring a claim based on one of two legal concepts– quid pro quo or a hostile work environment. Let’s look at the differences:

Quid pro quo is a Latin term describing giving something in exchange for something. An example involving sexual harassment could be your boss offering you a pay rise in exchange for going on a date with them or sleeping with them.

Hostile work environment

A hostile work environment comes about when one or more people do a thing or things that make it uncomfortable for another person to turn up to work each day. For example, an employee makes monkey noises when talking about a Black colleague with other workers. The Black employee feels that they simply cannot be expected to turn up in a place where such overt racism is still present.

Or, a line manager constantly makes inappropriate comments and touches when talking to a particular employee, leaving them feeling very uncomfortable at work.

It can be difficult to know where to start if you want to put an end to sexual harassment you or someone else experiences. With appropriate legal help, you can decide on the next steps to take.