Kansas City Sexual Harassment Attorneys
Sexual harassment cases involve complex procedures and strict timelines the plaintiff must comply with to press charges against liable parties. While employers are not necessarily responsible for the behavior of every employee in the workplace, employers can be held accountable for the improper conduct of supervisors and harassment by any employee if the company was aware of the situation and did not take action to stop it. It is always best to consult a lawyer if you are being harassed by a co-worker.
The experienced Kansas City sexual harassment attorneys at White, Graham, Buckley & Carr, L.L.C., strongly believe in the state and federal laws that are designed to create workplaces free of sexual harassment. We do everything possible to help protect the rights of harassment victims who have been subjected to unwanted attention or unfair treatment in the workplace.
Our attorneys are strong advocates for the victims of sexual harassment in the workplace, discrimination of gender and many other workplace related violations of the laws that were created to protect employees. When our law firm starts on your harassment case, we will vigorously fight to achieve due justice and financial compensation for you.
Sexual Harassment, Discrimination and the Laws That Protect Employees
Federal law in the United States recognizes two types of sexual harassment claims:
- Quid pro quo harassment - when owners, managers or supervisors demand favors that are in a sexual manner as a condition of their employment.
- Hostile work environment - this occurs when an employer, supervisor or manager knowingly allows an offensive, oppressive, hostile, threatening or intimidating work place environment based on sexual relations to continue, and that negatively affects the employees ability to work effectively.
The victims of sexual harassment in the workplace are mostly women, but there are many instances where men can be the victim of these forms of workplace harassment as well. Click Here For A List of sexual harassment laws enforced by the EEOC.
Are you the victim of sexual harassment? This is what you need to do first.
When you are the victim of harassment at work your first step should be to tell your supervisor or manager and make a report of the harassment. If you have questions about how to handle this you can contact our law firm White, Graham, Buckley & Carr LLC. before you make a report with your supervisor about the harassment. If your employer does not work to stop the harassment and it continues to take place, you more than likely have a strong case for sexual harassment.
A sexual harassment attorney at White, Graham, Buckley & Carr. LLC. will consult with you about your harassment circumstances and discuss all of your options to take legal action in a free consultation. At your first consultation bring as much information and documents as you can about your situation in order for the attorneys to evaluate the case as thoroughly as possible. As soon as you become a victim of harassment you should keep a log of the events that take place and write down the names of any witnesses that can corroborate important details of the sexual harassments. Your lawyer can then better examine the overall strength of your sexual harassment case based on the detailed logs and information you have kept. This is a great US News Article about sexual harassment in the work place.
The Attorneys at White, Graham, Buckley & Carr LLC. Are Strong Advocates For Victims of Sexual Harassment
White, Graham, Buckley & Carr LLC. has successfully attained justice and financial compensation in a number of sexual harassment lawsuits in cases involving employment law violations. When taking on your case, our sexual harassment attorneys will aggressively seek justice and compensation for you, the victim.
Contact an Experienced Sexual Harassment Attorney Today
Call our law firm to schedule a free consultation, 816-373-9080. White, Graham, Buckley & Carr LLC.
Our firm represents clients in the Kansas City Metro area and throughout Missouri & Kansas.
A List of Some of The Effects that Victims of Sexual harassment Commonly Suffer
Common effects of sexual harassment and retaliation on the victims range from emotional, psychological, academic, professional, social and financial:
- Becoming publicly sexualized (to make something sexual in character or quality). This can happen when groups of people "evaluate" the victim to establish if they are "worth" the sexual attention or the risk to the harasser's career.
- Being treated like and looked at like an object
- Becoming humiliated by scrutiny and gossip
- Decreased performance at school or work due to the stressful conditions
- Increased absenteeism at work in fear of continuing harassment
- Experiencing Defamation of character and reputation degradation
- Negative effects on personal sexual life and relationships: Harassment can put extreme stress on relationships with significant others and often resulting in divorce
- The effects from a retaliation action by either getting fired or the refusal for a job opportunity which can lead to loss of a job, career, or loss of income
- The effect of having his or her personal life offered up for public scrutiny, where the victim becomes the "accused", and his or her private life, dress and lifestyle often comes under attack.
- The victim having to drop school courses, change his or her academic plans, or leave school altogether (creating a loss of tuition)due to fear of the sexual harassment continuation and/or as a result of stress
- Having to relocate to another state, city, another job, or another school
- Suffering the Loss of work or school references and recommendations
- Loss of trust in environments (ie: work, school) similar to where the harassment took place
- Loss of trust in the types of people (ie: managers, supervisors, school teachers) that occupy similar positions as the harasser or his or her colleagues, especially in case they are not supportive,
- Difficulties with or stress on co-worker relationships, or relationships with peers
- Psychological related stress and health impairment
- Weakening of support network, or being shunned from professional, work related or academic circles (colleagues, family or friends may distance themselves or stay away from the victim, or banish the victim altogether)
Sexual Harassment Frequently Asked Questions.
- Is there a statute of limitations for filing sexual harassment lawsuits?
- What forms of conduct have been found to be considered sexual harassment?
- If I think I am the victim of sexual harassment, or am the victim of a hostile (ie: work, school) environment, what should I do?
- What are some of the factors that's would determine a hostile working environment?
- Is the victim of a sexually hostile workplace environment the only one that can report this conduct?
- Is it considered sexual harassment if a supervisor or co-worker makes offending comments about my appearance or the way I dress?
- If there are no witnesses to the sexual harassment what can I do to prove that the harassment has taken place?
- If I file a claim with the EEOC will my employer retaliate against me for filing the report?
- Can men and women be the victim of a hostile environment or sexual harassment?
Is there a statute of limitations for filing sexual harassment lawsuits?
Yes, there are several federal laws under groups such as the EEOC (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission), that have set forth statutes of limitations, or time limits, on filing sexual harassment lawsuits. This means that after the incident of sexual harassment takes place the victim has a limited amount of time to file a lawsuit.
The time limits will vary by state on how long you have to file a sexual harassment claim. In many cases the EEOC's time limit rule to file a case is: 180 days from the date that the harassment incident occurred. This EEOC rule is considered the working rule, and any sexual harassment case filing must be within the set time frame of 180 days. In some states, however, there are state laws in place that may override the EEOC 180 day rule, and in some cases can extend the time frame to file a claim to 300 days or in some cases up to one year from the date that the last incident of harassment took place.
To be safe its advised that you contact an attorney as soon as possible after the incident has taken place because at minimum you will have only 180 days from the date of the last occurrence of sexual harassment in which to bring a lawsuit forward. You may have up to 300 days to file depending on your state. Our attorneys can advise you on the time frames when you call for a consultation. Call 816-373-9080 - White, Graham, Buckley & Carr LLC.
If you do not file a sexual harassment claim within the time limit your claim will then be time barred, which means that you will no longer be able to bring a lawsuit forward for damages or take any further legal action against this occurrence of sexual harassment. This is why it is advised that if you are the victim of sexual harassment you should contact an experienced sexual harassment attorney as soon as possible. A sexual harassment lawyer that is experienced in these cases will know the time limits you are facing in your particular state and jurisdiction.
What forms of conduct have been found to be considered sexual harassment?
Cases of sexual harassment can be far more wide ranging than a supervisor threatening an employee with "sleep with me or I will fire you". In the workplace quite often managers, coworkers, customers and company vendors can be sexually harassing towards an employee. Courts and agencies like EEOC - after looking at and analyzing all of the circumstances that have occurred in past sexual harassment cases - have deemed the following types of conduct to be considered sexual harassment:
- Repeated sexual comments or expressions, obscene or offending jokes, any forms of verbal slurs, lewd or offending language, and any other comments made in a sexual nature that are offensive;
- Sexual in nature or sexually offensive content that is in letters, notes, faxes, e-mails and graffiti;
- Any forms of sexual propositions, sexual insults, and threats;
- Sexually oriented or sexually offensive names or nicknames;
- Any ongoing and unwanted sexual or romantic overtures or forms of sexual attention;
- Any sexually suggestive sounds, gestures such as whistling, or hollering.
- Any material of a sexual nature in the workplace such as displaying x-rated or nude pictures, calendars, cartoons or any other material that is sexually offensive;
- Coerced or unwelcome kissing, stroking, massaging, squeezing, fondling, touching, patting, tickling, brushing up against or pinching;
- Any form of request for sexual favors;
- Coerced sexual relations such as a condition of employment, promotion or academic status.
If you are the victim of any sexual harassing conduct at your place of employment, it is advised that you contact an experienced sexual harassment attorney to help you get justice and compensation for your unfortunate sexual harassment circumstance.
If I think I am the victim of sexual harassment, or am the victim of a hostile (ie: work, school) environment, what should I do?
The first thing you should do is to tell the harassing party to stop immediately. try to start a written log of all of the sexual harassing occurrences including what exactly was said, what took place, the date & time, and the names of all of the witnesses that might have seen the harassments take place. If possible report the action to the supervisor of the individual that is harassing you. If your employer has a complaint or grievance procedure in place you should go through this process. In some cases in court if you did not take advantage of a procedure like this that was in place at your place of employment you may not be able to recover and compensation for damages if you win your case. Be sure that if you file a complaint or grievance that is in writing because you want to leave a paper trail in order to prove the complaint was filed in case your employer attempts to retaliate against you.
If you are the victim of sexual harassment it is always advised that you should consult with an experienced sexual harassment attorney who specializes in employment law cases. The attorney will be able to advise the be course of action to document the harassments and to help protect yourself against possible retaliatory actions from your employer.
It is almost always a good idea to consult with a sexual harassment attorney who specializes in employment claims. Many attorneys provide free consultations for situation such as these and the attorney can give you specific guidance as to what you should be doing both to document your claim and to protect yourself against retaliation. In many cases of sexual harassment there are other victims and this can strengthen both of your cases against the employer.
In some cases our attorneys can informally complain to the employer about the sexual harassment in order to get it stopped. If you need help filing a complaint with the EEOC our attorneys can help you prepare and file your complaint with them or another state agency. Its often a good idea to work with an attorney through the whole process from the start because they know the proper steps to take to build a strong case and to protect your rights if this case should become a court case.
What are some of the factors that's would determine a hostile working environment?
Anytime an employee becomes uncomfortable, offended or scared in their place of employment due to offensive comments, behavior, intimidation or abuse by a coworker or supervisor a hostile working environment is created.
The investigators with the EEOC look at the following factors when determining if a work environment is hostile. When determining a workplace harassment case it does not come down to just one of these determining factors that will sway the EEOC of weather to deem it a case for sexual harassment. They review all of the evidence and make a determination based off of all of the circumstances involved, not just one factor in the case. The objective severity of the sexual harassment claim is judged from the perspective of a reasonable individual in the victim's position, while considering all of the circumstances involved.
- Whether or not the conduct in question was physical in nature, verbal in nature or both;
- Whether or not the harassing conduct that is in question was hostile in nature or clearly offensive in nature;
- How frequently this conduct was repeated;
- Was the alleged harasser was a supervisor or a co-worker;
- Did other employees had joined in and perpetrated the harassment;
- What steps were after senior management became aware of the harassing conduct - such as whether or not the harassing conduct was properly dealt with and immediately stopped or condoned.
- Whether or not the harassing conduct was directed at more than one individual;
An employee can file a lawsuit against their harasser if they are a victim of a hostile working environment, whether it be a manager,owner or a co-worker. When a deciding weather or not to bring a lawsuit forward there are many legal aspects of the case that must be considered, including:
- Does the sexual harassment victim belong to a protected class based on religion, ethnicity, race, age, sex or disability?
- Was the sexual harassment directly related to the victim about being of one of these protected classes?
- Was the employer aware of and failed to address or stop the harassment?
- Did the sexual harassment involve any threats about changing the employment status of the victim? (Such as a promotion in exchange for sexual favors).
- Did the harassment it happen only once or was it on going?
Is the victim of a sexually hostile workplace environment the only one that can report this conduct or file suit?
The person at whom the sexual harassing conduct is directed does not have to specifically be the only victim of the sexual harassment. The victim of this conduct can be an individual that is offended by the conduct when it is towards another individual. The victim of the sexual harassment can at times be the same sex as the harasser.
Is it considered sexual harassment if a supervisor or co-worker makes offending comments about my appearance or the way I dress?
This depends on the exact nature of the comments that were made. A supervisor recommending that an employee should dress more professionally is not likely to be considered a case for sexual harassment. If a supervisor suggests to an employee that they wear more sexually revealing attire as a way to impress the owner of the company could be viewed as sexual harassing conduct. Comments such as "that's a very nice shirt," would not be considered sexual harassment; but if it were then followed by a sexual reference like, it looks really nice on your chest, that type of conduct would be considered inappropriate and harassing. The key to a claim like this is if the the harassing conduct, occurred because of the specific sex of the victim and weather it creates a hostile environment or abusive working environment.
If there are no witnesses to the sexual harassment what can I do to prove that the harassment has taken place?
In sexual harassment cases it often comes down to a situation of he-said, she-said. This is even more often the circumstance if there were no witnesses or no witnesses who are willing to go to trial and testify against the harasser. Keeping very detailed records of all of the sexually harassing comments and conduct that has occurred is the best method of being successful in a sexual harassment case. An important step in a successful case is to follow the procedure of your companies sexual harassment policy to a T, if they indeed have one in place such as making certain that you report the sexually harassing conduct to the correct managers and supervisors in the proper way that is outlined in the sexual harassment policy. You need to make all of the proper steps that are available to you to file a report about the sexual harassment to all of the correct parties within your place of employment.
Cases sexual harassment can be based on one of the two, either "quid pro quo sexual harassment" or "hostile working environment harassment." Quid pro quo harassment constitutes a situation in which an individuals employment is altered in a tangible way by their willingness, or unwillingness, to participate in an expected form of sexual behavior by a supervisor, manager or co-worker. Hostile working environment cases are based largely on when an individual is constantly made to fell uncomfortable at their place of employment because of their gender, even if their job hasn't changed or hasn't been threatened to be altered in any way.
Contacting an experienced sexual harassment attorney can be crucial when you are the victim of sexual harassment and you are building a case because your attorney can advise you step by step on how to to collect the evidence you need for a strong case.
If I file a claim with the EEOC will my employer retaliate against me for filing the report?
It is against the law for your employer to retaliate against you in any way for filing a report for sexual harassment with the EEOC. It is illegal for your employer to retaliate in any way against you for filing a charge of sexual harassment, participating in an ongoing investigation, or opposing any discriminatory practices at your place of employment. If you believe that your employer is retaliating against you, it is advised that you contact a sexual harassment attorney and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) as soon as possible.
If you are the victim of retaliation by your employer you will have to file a new claim based on the retaliation actions even if you have already filed a claim of sexual harassment. The Supreme Court recently held the case of Burlington Northern & Santa Fe Railway Co. v. White in 2006, which is the standard for what constitutes employer "retaliation" and it is very broad. Virtually any action that your employer knowingly and intentionally takes that would dissuade an employee from filing or supporting a charge of sexual harassment is considered a retaliation action.
Can men and women be the victim of a hostile environment or sexual harassment?
Men and women both can be the victim of sexual harassing conduct in the workplace. Any victim of sexual harassment, regardless of their gender, need to realize that there are laws protect them and should feel confident in taking legal action to seek justice and defend their rights.
Contact our experienced sexual harassment attorneys at 816-373-9080 to schedule a free case evaluation.
White, Graham, Buckley & Carr L.L.C. | Attorneys At Law