Previously, this blog discussed the basics of what sexual harassment claims entail, as well as some of the requirements to file a claim with the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Deciding to file such a claim can be a difficult and disconcerting position to be in for employees who simply want to be able to do their jobs to the best of their abilities. With that said, there are a few things employees should remember about filing such claims.
First, the concept of sexual harassment encompasses more than just requests for sexual favors. Unwelcome comments about appearance, behavior or history may also be considered harassment if they contribute to the creation of an offensive or hostile work environment.
Additionally, talk that is not overtly sexual but reduces one gender to various offensive stereotypes or pours derision upon a gender in general could be considered sexual harassment. While simple teasing that is not serious may not be covered, an employer or co-worker cannot defend true harassment by saying he or she was "only joking."
Finally, it is important to remember that the harasser doesn't have to be a direct supervisor. It could be a superior from another department, a co-worker or even, in some situations, a client or customer.
Determining what constitutes legally actionable sexual harassment is not always easy. Experienced employment law attorneys have seen many cases and are aware of how the law tends to interpret various types of potential harassment.
Deciding whether to file a complaint with the EEOC or with the State of Oklahoma and knowing what steps are required to allow actual litigation in the courts can be complicated. People who believe they have been harassed or are subject to any other kind of discrimination are invited to get more information be visiting our website.