Sexual Harassment Lawyer Philadelphia Pennsylvania
Unfortunately, sexual harassment is too prevalent in the workplace today. Both men and women can be victims of sexual harassment and the victim and harasser can be the same sex. According to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, 11,364 cases of sexual harassment were reported in 2011, and 16.3% out of those cases were filed by males. Sexual harassment can take many forms, and can include unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical harassment of a sexual nature. Harassment does not have to be of a sexual nature, however, and can include offensive remarks about a person's sex. For example, it is illegal to harass a woman by making offensive comments about women in general.
Although the law doesn't prohibit simple teasing, offhand comments, or isolated incidents that are not very serious, harassment is illegal when it is so frequent or severe that it creates a hostile or offensive work environment or when it results in an adverse employment decision (such as the victim being fired or demoted). The harasser can be the victim's supervisor, a supervisor in another area, a co-worker, or someone who is not an employee of the employer, such as a client or customer.
It is also illegal to harass someone because they have complained about sexual harassment or filed a charge of harassment, or participated in an employment discrimination investigation or lawsuit. Harassment outside of the workplace may also be illegal if there is a link with the workplace. For example, if a supervisor harasses an employee while driving the employee to a meeting.
The law on sexual harassment has evolved significantly during the last four decades, prohibiting more conduct. Thus, in 1998, the United States Supreme Court held that sex discrimination consisting of same-sex sexual harassment is actionable under Title VII. In
Oncale, Joseph Oncale was employed as a roustabout on an eight-man crew on a Chevron U.S. A., Inc., oil platform in the Gulf of Mexico. On several occasions, Oncale was forcibly subjected to sex-related, humiliating actions against him by his male co-workers and supervisors, in the presence of the rest of the crew. Some employees also physically assaulted Oncale in a sexual manner, and one of them threatened him with rape. Oncale's complaints to supervisory personnel produced no remedial action; in fact, the company's Safety Compliance Clerk told Oncale that those employees picked on him all the time too, and called him a name suggesting homosexuality. Oncale eventually quit-asking that his pink slip reflect that he voluntarily left due to sexual harassment and verbal abuse. When asked at his deposition why he quit, Oncale stated: "I felt that if I didn't leave my job, that I would be raped or forced to have sex." The case went to the Supreme Court and Oncale won. Even though the case was hard to win, Oncale did punish the harassers and saw the justice prevail.
Another important case in the area of sexual harassment law was decided in 1994 in Pennsylvania. It made unemployment benefits available to those employees who were subjected to sexual harassment, made reasonable efforts to alleviate the sexual harassment and were forced to voluntarily terminate employment. Pennsylvania employees who are forced to quit jobs due to sexual harassment at the workplace may be entitled to unemployment benefits under certain circumstances.
At the Lassen Law Firm, we represent not only people who have been subject to sexual and other forms of harassment but also those people who suffered discrimination, including discrimination against someone on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age (40 or older) or a disability. The law also makes it illegal to discriminate against a woman because of pregnancy, childbirth, or a medical condition related to pregnancy or childbirth.
At the Lassen Law Firm, we know that victims often don't come forward because they feel embarrassed or fear retaliation. Only when it becomes unbearable do some report it — and by that time, it may be too late. We encourage all those who suffer sexual harassment, discrimination, or abuse in the workplace to contact the Lassen Law Firm to learn about your legal rights. If you have been fired, retaliated against or suffered workplace discrimination, please call The Lassen Law Firm to receive a free consultation.
The Lassen Law Firm only deducts a 29% fee, not the standard 40-45% like other firms.
Licensed in Pennsylvania and New Jersey and serving the Nation.
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Oncale v. Sundowner Offshore Services, Inc, 523 U.S. 75 (1998).
Mutual Pharmaceutical Company, Inc.,v. Unemployment Compensation Board Of Review, 654 A.2d 37 (Pa. Commw.Ct.1994)
Authored by: Christian Lassen