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How do you prove sexual harassment in the work place?

Fort Lauderdale, FL |

I work in a company with about 50 people. I work directly under one of the head people of the company. He is constantly doing things to make me extremely uncomfortable.
1. He is constantly scratching his private area in front of me, or everyone.
2. He makes offensive comments about how he tries new kama sutra positions that threw his back out
3. He has actually threatened to fire me because I do not make time with him to have one on ones out of the office for lunch and because we do not have the same relationship that he has with others
4. He has came behind me while im at my desk and put his hands on my shoulders - like a massage, I kindly shrug him off of me
5. He has walked behind me telling me he is trying to get skinny and beautiful like me

6. He constantly stares at my chest when we speak. I have become so uncomfortable around him, I constantly wear a sweater. I don't wear certain attire because I feel uneasy around him. I do my best to not stay late because he is usually here and I would end up being here alone with him. I don't know if his intent is to "sexually harass" me.. however, I feel very uncomfortable in my situation. He has put me in situations where I feel very uneasy. He constantly gets way to close to me. He will come stand behind me while I am at my desk, and be so close to me I feel his breath on the back of my head. He even wears shorts to work and will start stretching using my desk/other peoples desk. He is always making racist/offensive comments about people. Please explain to me my rights?

Attorney Answers 3


  1. Best answer

    I would recommend that before you take any action you retain an employment attorney to counsel and assist you.

    Step 1 is to look at your company's employment manual or written guidelines and identify who is designated to receive such complaints. If there is no such person, then select someone of suitable authority; for example., someone in charge of human resources.

    Step 2 is to submit something in writing to the person you have selected. State that you believe you are being sexually harassed and are in a hostile work environment, and tell them any other improper conduct of which you are complaining. Explain in detail what has been done to you, when, and by whom. Request that they take corrective action. Keep a copy of what you send them. Take that copy home, and any responses in writing you receive to it.

    Step 3 may never occur. Your employer may correct the problem to your satisfaction, or at least correct it to something you can live with. If the problem persists, your next move would be to file a charge of discrimination with your local EEOC branch office and dual file with the FCHR.

    More information can be found about that here:

    http://www.eeoc.gov/employees/charge.cfm

    http://fchr.state.fl.us/fchr/complaints__1/employment

    I highly recommend you have an attorney assist you with this, but you can file it yourself.

    Step 4 is to go through the administrative resolution of your charge. This takes quite a while. After 180 days from the date you file your charge, if it is still dragging on, you can request a right to sue letter. You can read more about that here:

    http://www.eeoc.gov/employees/lawsuit.cfm

    Step 5 is to file a lawsuit, which you can only do once you have received your right to sue from the administrative agency. For the lawsuit stage, it is essential that you have an attorney, though technically you could file it yourself.

    Of course, at any stage of this process you may reach a settlement. You should have an attorney review whatever that settlement is and the papers that document it.

    I hope this helps.

    This response is merely a general discussion of an issue based on the information provided. It is not intended as legal advice and does not form an attorney-client relationship. You are encouraged to seek out an attorney of your choosing in your local jurisdiction, and to discuss your legal issue with that attorney.


  2. You need to discuss this with a local employment lawyer right away. For starters, you need to comply with your company's harassment policy if you intend to pursue any sort of legal action. The standard for sexual harassment is generally whether the harassment was so severe and pervasive as to alter the terms and conditions of your employment. That can be a tough standard to meet, so you need to go through all of the facts and circumstances with a local attorney. You need to have a strategy in place, because once you complain about one of the top people in the company, you can expect things to change at your workplace.


  3. Without more information it is not possible to give an opinion about this. The best advice would be to set an appointment with an attorney who specializes in employment law and sexual harassment cases. Then after a thorough review of all of the facts, they can give you an opinion as to whether you have a viable claim, and what procedural steps you should take. Most attorneys handle these cases on a contingency percentage fee, taking a percentage of the recovery. There are no hourly fees and most attorneys do not charge anything for an initial appointment to discuss your case.

    If this information has been helpful, please indicate below. I hope my information is helpful to you. If you think this post was a good answer, please click the "Good Answer" button below and/or designate my answer as the "BEST ANSWER". Thanks. This is a general response to a question for basic information and is not legal advice. Legal advice can only be given when all of the facts of your situation are discussed with a lawyer, which we have not done.. If you reside outside the State of Texas please understand that the laws may be different from the laws that I may cite in a my comment. This comment is not to be construed as legal advice to your particular situation because there are many factors that influence legal counseling- this is simply a comment. Response to an email does not create an attorney-client relationship between you and the Law Offices of Kevin R. Madison, P.C., nor any of its attorneys. If you send us an e-mail, or call us, and we do not already represent you, neither your e-mail inquiry nor telephone call will create an attorney-client relationship. E-mails cannot necessarily be treated as privileged or confidential. Only entering into a written legal services contract with the Law Offices of Kevin R. Madison, P.C. will create an attorney-client relationship. There is no substitute for one-on-one legal advice and you are urged to meet with an attorney and discuss your case, personally, with an attorney in the state in which you reside or your case occurred. Thank you. Kevin R. Madison. Visit our website at www.kevinmadison.com and www.texassexualharassmentattorney.com. Kevin Madison, Austin, Texas- representing injured persons in motor vehicle collision, truck and motorcucle accidents and representing victims of sexual harassment, sexual assault, sexual abuse, physical assaults, and representing victims of sexual exploitation committed by doctors, therapists, psychologists, psychiatrists, clergy, counselors, priests, and rabbis. Visit our sexual harassment/sexual exploitation blog at http://texassexualharassmentattorney.com/blog/

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