How We Can Help
You have the right to a work environment that is free of bias, intimidation, or hostility. State and federal law prohibit gender-based discrimination, including sexual harassment and pregnancy discrimination. Bertelson Law is committed to protecting all employees, male and female, from discrimination in the workplace. We have extensive experience taking on gender discrimination claims, both in court and through mediation and arbitration with employers on our clients’ behalf.
What is Workplace Sexual Harassment?
Any number of actions may constitute sexual harassment, including both verbal and physical advances. Some examples may include:
* Contact of a sexual nature including touching, hugging or brushing against a person’s body.
* Explicit or implicit propositions to engage in sexual activity.
* Comments of a sexual nature, including but not limited to: remarks of a sexual nature regarding a person’s body or clothing, sexually explicit statements or questions, sexually explicit stories or jokes, remarks about sexual activity, and/or whistling, ogling, or leering looks.
* Exposure to graffiti, pictures, posters of a sexual nature, or other similar materials.
* Restriction of an individual’s movements through physical interference.
* Comments or actions based on gender.
To determine if your situation constitutes sexual harassment under the law, keep a record of any incidents and use it to provide examples when speaking to an attorney about your potential case.
What Steps Should I Take if I Am Facing Sexual Harassment at Work?
• If possible, directly inform the harasser that his/her conduct is unwelcome and must stop. This response could prevent future harassment from the person, as they may not have realized his/her behavior was offensive.
• To file a complaint of sexual harassment, use any employer complaint mechanism or grievance system available.
• Document the circumstances, such as the nature of the sexual advances, and the context in which the incidents occurred. Keep track of dates, places, times, witnesses.
• If sexual harassment persists after reporting it to your employer, or is not dealt with to your satisfaction, contact an employment law attorney.
What Does the Law Say?
Sexual harassment of an individual is prohibited by state and federal laws. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 establishes that employers may not discriminate on the basis of sex, and that sexual harassment is a form of sex discrimination.
The federal agency charged with enforcing Title VII is the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). The EEOC defines sexual harassment as:
Unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors and other verbal and physical conduct of a sexual nature constitutes sex harassment when [a] submission to such conduct is made an explicit or implicit term or condition of an individual’s employment, [b] submission to or rejection of such conduct is used as the basis for employment decisions, and [c] such conduct unreasonably interferes with work performance, or creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive working environment.*
* Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Guidelines on Discrimination Because of Sex. Code of Federal Regulations, Title 29, Part §1604.11 Washington, D.C. :Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
If you think you may be facing sexual harassment in the workplace, contact Bertelson Law Offices at (612) 278-9832 to discuss what claims you may have.
*THIS MATERIAL IS EDUCATIONAL ONLY. IT DOES NOT CONSTITUTE AND SHOULD NOT SUBSTITUTE FOR LEGAL ADVICE.
Bertelson Law Office – Union Plaza
333 Washington Ave. N. Suite 402 Minneapolis, MN 55401
Phone +1 (612) 278-9832