Alabama Harassment in the Workplace Attorneys
Harassment in the workplace related to sex, race, or other factors can make performing your daily work activities next to impossible. Despite harassment in the workplace being illegal in Alabama, thousands of workers endure this on a daily basis for fear of losing their jobs or other retaliation.
If you are a victim of workplace harassment, it’s imperative that you consult with an aggressive and knowledgeable workplace harassment attorney about your rights. The attorneys at McPhillips Shinbaum, LLP have been protecting and fighting for clients who are victims of unfair employment practices for over 43 years. Our team of highly-qualified attorneys believes that everyone has equal rights in the workplace and should be able to do their jobs without fear of discrimination, harassment, or retaliation.
What is Harassment in the Workplace?
Workplace harassment is a type of discrimination that the violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA), and the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 (ADEA).
Harassment in the workplace is unwelcome conduct that is based on sex, race, age, religion, national origin, age, or disability. Workplace harassment becomes illegal when either putting up with the offensive conduct becomes necessary to keep your job or when the conduct is severe enough to create what would be considered an abusive, intimidating, or hostile work environment.
What is a Hostile Work Environment
Do you feel that you are being harassed at work? A hostile work environment exists when the worker is the recipient of unwelcome conduct from a supervisor, co-worker, customer, or even contractor and the workplace becomes intimidating or offensive. Workplace behaviors that could be considered an unlawful hostile work environment include:
- Unnecessary touching
- use of crude language
- use of demeaning terms or slurs
- discussion of sexual activities
- commenting on physical attributes
- off-color jokes that concern sex, race, or disability
- use of indecent gestures
Quid Pro Quo Workplace Harassment
Quid pro quo means “this for that.” This type of workplace harassment is often sexual but can sometimes be of a religious nature. The harassment is generally carried out by someone who can make employment decisions that will impact the victim. If the victim cooperates with the harassment or even the demands of the harasser, they will be rewarded with continued employment, raises, and promotions. If they do not cooperate, they might be fired, demoted, or denied a promised promotion.
Workplace Sexual Harassment
A victim of harassment in the workplace is anyone who is the target of harassing conduct. Unwelcome conduct can come from a superior, co-worker, and even a non-employee such as a guest or vendor. Sexual harassment in the workplace might include such acts as:
- demands for sexual favors from superiors
- offensive remarks about a person’s body or clothing
- intentional touching that is inappropriate
- lewd and sexually suggestive jokes
- making sexual gestures at work
- having sexual pictures or posters in the workplace
- sending emails or notes that sexually suggestive
Racial Harassment in the Workplace
Harassment at work targets the employee’s race and is against the law in the same manner as sexual harassment. Racial harassment is unwelcome behavior that is directed towards an employee due to their race. The harassment is against the law when it results in a hostile, offensive, or intimidating work environment. Some examples of racial harassment include:
- derogatory gestures of a racial nature
- pictures, posters, or images that are racially offensive
- impeding or blocking an employee’s movement or work progress
- physical assault
- racial jokes, insults, threats, or rumors
Other Types of Workplace Harassment
While sexual and racial harassment at work are the most common forms of workplace harassment, they aren’t the only types that a worker might encounter. Harassment based on religious beliefs has become more common as has harassment that targets a person’s ancestry or birthplace. If you suffer from a physical or mental disability, you could be subject to unwelcome workplace harassment. Also, anyone over the age of 40 might be harassed at work due to their age and have protection under the law.
What to Do If You Are Being Harassed at Work
If you are being harassed at work, pull out your employee handbook and review your company’s sexual harassment and discrimination policy. Follow your company’s reporting guidelines wherever possible. If you are supposed to report the problem to your harasser, go to your human resources department instead.
Put all reports of harassment in writing and keep a copy of all correspondence for yourself. Identify witnesses and keep a journal of all dates and times of both the harassment and who you’ve spoken with about the issue.
If the harassment is so bad that a reasonable person would not be able to continue working in that environment, you can quit your job. This is referred to as “constructive termination, ” and you can pursue lost wages from your employer among other damages.
It’s important that you take every reasonable measure to resolve the issue before leaving your job. There are also some time constraints for filing a formal harassment claim.
How to Submit a Formal Workplace Harassment Claim
In most cases, you have just 180 days (6 months) to file a discrimination claim with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), which is the federal agency charged with enforcing anti-discrimination laws. This official filing is a requirement before you can file a lawsuit against your employer for harassment.
Title VII prohibits employers from retaliating against an employee who files a harassment charge or for speaking out against harassment in the workplace. If you feel that harassment is taking place in your workplace, you should speak up and enlist the services of a skill workplace harassment attorney to safeguard your rights.
Get Help From a Dedicated Alabama Workplace Harassment Attorney
If you are suffering from harassment in the workplace or unfair treatment, then you should enlist the help of the skilled workplace harassment attorneys at McPhillips Shinbaum, LLP to secure the legal assistance you deserve. We understand the severity of your situation and will fight to protect your rights and strengthen your claim in cases of sexual harassment or harassment based on race, religion, age, or disability. Call our Alabama workplace harassment attorneys at 334-262-1911 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation.