Sexual harassment is:
- Unwanted offensive touching
- Unwanted offensive romantic attention
- Offensive sexual speech
- Offensive sexual conduct, gestures
- Unwanted exposure to pornography
- Unwanted offensive sexual texts, emails, facebook/twitter/myspace communications
- Conditioning job benefits on sex
- Being forced to have sex to keep or get your job
Most of the sexual harassment we see consists of men behaving badly towards women, but sometimes towards other men. The most common form is where the harasser indicates he is attracted to the victim, but he goes too far, making her feel very uncomfortable, ignoring hints that his attention is unwanted. Harassers often comment on the victim's body in a vulgar way, and make statements concerning sexual activity which they are hoping for.
When harassment is directed at another man, often there is grabbing or slapping of private parts through pants, humping (sometimes in a way intended to get a laugh out of coworkers) and/or graphic violent sexual speech about what the harasser is going to do to the victim.
These days no harasser seems to be able to resist the temptation to text or email his victim. These messages are playing an important role in our cases: once the victim receives one, it is no longer a he-said-she-said case. There are other ways to preserve evidence. Potential clients are coming to us with recordings of their harasser and recording of their complaints.
If you think that you might be experiencing sexual harassment at work, at school, or from your landlord or superintendent, please feel free to email us any questions you have, call us at 888-369-1119, or you may also fill out one of our forms online.
Some forms of offensive speech are not sexual harassment, but are still illegal. An example is speech or conduct which insults women. Using slurs, such as b*tch, making frequent sexist statements, may be illegal harassment against women, even though it is not sexual.
Not all offensive conduct is sexual harassment. Using offensive language, including the F word, does not always constitute sexual harassment. Sexual harassment is a form of sex discrimination. You have to show that the offensive conduct was done because of your sex. If the offensive language indicates that the harasser wants to have sex with you, then it may be sexual harassment. If the harasser engages in offensive sexual speech, such as describing sex acts or body parts, it may be sexual harassment. But merely engaging in offensive non-sexual speech does not become sexual harassment, simply because the F word is used.
This is a sexual harassment questionnaire we use. The questions will give you an idea of the sort of information which we will need in order to determine whether and how we can help you.
Sexual Harassment Questionnaire
In order for me to determine whether I can help you, or refer you to someone else who can, I need information. Our correspondence will be confidential and there is no charge for this consultation.
Please set forth (1) each act of sexual harassment, (2) including date (or if you do not recall the date, the frequency the harassment happened), (3) time, (4) witness (if any), (5) other proof (for example love letters, text messages, tapes), and (6) why your harasser knew his attentions were unwelcome.
It is not necessary that you remember every touching and disgusting comment. It is enough that you can give a good idea of the types of comments that were made, a few examples, and explain how often and generally where they were made.
Please explain in detail (1) whether the harassment was reported, (2) to whom, (3) when, (4) in writing or verbally, and if not, (5) why not. Also, if it was reported, did the sexual harassment stop after it was reported?
Please also describe every piece of evidence that might be available to prove the harassment or the complaints about the harassment, such as emails, notes made of a verbal complaint, a tape, witness statements, etc.
Does your employer have an employee manual that has instructions on how to make a complaint about sexual harassment, and if so, what does it say?
In what state and city did this happen?
How many employees work at your employer?
Was your harasser your supervisor, a co-worker, or something else (explain).
Are others affected by the sexual harassment? Please explain.
Please provide the names, cell phone numbers and email addresses of witnesses to the harassment and reporting who would be willing to be interviewed and provide a written statements. Please make sure they are willing to cooperate before providing their cell numbers. No calls will be made without your prior approval.