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Sexual harassment in the workplace is a difficult situation for a victim. In addition to having your employment compromised, you may be experiencing feelings of fear, anger, anxiety, and depression. Although no amount of money can truly make up for being subjected to harassment, it can help you cope with the burden that it has placed on your career, family life, and emotions. Macon sexual harassment attorney Ben F. Windham can guide victims of sexual harassment in workplaces across Georgia through the legal process. He understands your desire to protect your privacy while still seeking justice against the individual who harassed you and the company that encouraged or allowed it to happen.
Understanding State and Federal Protections Against Sexual Harassment at Work
There are a variety of protections at the state and federal levels that are designed to protect employees from sexual harassment in the workplace. According to federal law, employers that maintain 15 or more employees are required to comply with the Civil Rights Act of 1964. This law prohibits any discrimination based on an individual’s sex. There are two main types of sexual harassment that courts have identified. The first is quid pro quo sexual harassment, in which the harasser acts overtly and in an unwanted manner toward the victim. This can consist of demands for sexual favors or threats of punishment if the victim does not engage in sexual acts. Performing sexual acts thus becomes a virtual term or condition of employment, continued employment, or a job benefit.
The second type of harassment is called hostile work environment harassment. This occurs when an employer allows the workplace to develop into an environment that contains harassing acts, speech, gestures, or printed materials. Even if this harassing activity is not directed at one specific person, it creates an environment that affects workers negatively. Even verbal comments, communications, and inappropriate jokes can constitute sexual harassment in some circumstances. A sexual harassment attorney in the Macon area can advise Georgia employees on whether their situation likely meets the relevant standard.
Moreover, Georgia makes it a crime for an individual with supervisory authority over someone to engage in sexual conduct with a subordinate. This covers anyone who can exercise discipline over another person. Consent on behalf of the subordinate is not considered a valid defense to allegedly violating this law.
Coming forward after suffering sexual harassment can be stressful. Macon sexual harassment attorney Ben Windham understands that victims may fear retaliation or further discrimination from their employer or colleagues, and they may fear an unnecessary intrusion into their personal lives. If you experience sexual harassment at work, however, you can bring a claim against your employer. To recover compensation from an employer for sexual harassment based on a hostile work environment, you must show that the behavior was unwelcome, offensive, and sufficiently severe. Also, the plaintiff must show that the employer knew or reasonably should have known that the sexual harassment was taking place. A prime example of this is situations in which the conduct takes place in the presence of a supervisor or another person of authority in the workplace. Finally, the plaintiff must demonstrate that the employer did not take prompt remedial action after the harassment occurred. If you also suffered from retaliation for reporting the harassment, you can bring an additional claim based on the retaliation to seek further damages.
Seek Counsel from an Experienced Sexual Harassment Lawyer in Macon
At the Law Office of Ben F. Windham, we treat each client with the compassion and personalized attention that they deserve. Facing your harasser in court or reliving the details of the experience can seem unnerving, but we can stand by you through the entire process and make sure that you are treated fairly. Our firm assists people in many cities surrounding Atlanta, Macon, Athens, Augusta, Henry County, Clayton County, Fulton County Dekalb County, Fayette County, Coweta County, Cobb County, Clarke County, Oconee County, Rockdale County, Walton County, Newton County, Greene County, Putnam County, Columbia County, Richmond County, Bibb County, Jones County, Butts County, Jasper County and all over the State of Georgia. We provide a free and confidential consultation to help you learn more about your options and how we can assist you. Call us now at 1-833-BENWINS or schedule your appointment online. We are also available to people who need a personal injury lawyer to bring a claim for compensation after an accident.