Knoxville Workplace Harassment Attorneys
Workplace harassment is a widespread issue that many Knoxville employees are currently facing. Harassment is a form of discrimination that violates both federal and state law and is not only illegal but makes going to work an unnecessarily uncomfortable and hostile experience for everyone who is impacted. No one should have to accept harassment as a condition of their employment.
If your efforts to put an end to workplace harassment have not been successful, a Knoxville workplace harassment lawyer may be able to help you. Call today and let an experienced attorney be an advocate for you.
What is Workplace Harassment?
The laws pertaining to workplace harassment are related to those that deal with discrimination. Knoxville harassment claims usually involve some violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 or the Tennessee Human Rights Act. Unlawful harassment involves undesirable conduct based on a person’s protected characteristics. These include:
- Sexual orientation or identity
- National origin
- Genetic information
It is generally accepted that unwelcome behavior constitutes harassment when the actions rise to such a level that they create a work atmosphere that a reasonable person would consider hostile or a situation where tolerating the behavior turns into a condition of employment. Quid pro quo harassment occurs when the employee is expected to allow unwelcome harassment in exchange for keeping their job. If you have any questions about what constitutes as harassment, consult with a Knoxville workplace harassment attorney.
Many employees think harassment can only occur between them and their direct supervisor. Although harassment can certainly occur in the context of this working relationship, a valid harassment claim can be filed against essentially anyone in the workplace. An employer, supervisor, co-worker, or customer are all potential harassers. Supervisors or employers who themselves have not engaged in harassment but had knowledge of harassment may also face liability if they did not take preventative action.
Signs of Sexual Harassment
Although harassment can occur on the basis of any protected characteristic, sexual harassment is one of the most prevalent forms of workplace harassment in Knoxville. Sexual harassment can create extremely adverse working conditions. Sexual harassment can be:
- Sexual advances
- Unwelcome touching
- Crude gesturing
- Asking for sexual favors
- Vulgar language
- Revealing sexual images
In addition to being subjected to these acts, sexual harassment may also involve being denied a job or promotion for refusing to engage in sexual activity or accepting unwelcome harassment from a supervisor.
Fighting Back in Knoxville
Many employees are hesitant to file a harassment claim for fear they will endure even more hostile treatment at work. However, this type of retaliation is illegal. Your decision to exercise a legal right is never legitimate grounds for termination.
If resolving a harassment matter internally is not an option or has not stopped the problem, you can file a claim with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the Tennessee Human Rights Commission, or a lawsuit in federal court. The EEOC requires you file any claim within 180 of the purported incident.
In some cases, if an employee files a lawsuit before filing with the EEOC, their lawsuit may be dismissed. You could also contact a Knoxville workplace harassment lawyer to serve as an ally in your claim.
A Compassionate Knoxville Workplace Harassment Attorney Could Advocate for You
We are devoted to helping victims of harassment in Knoxville seek justice. Our lawyers recognize that enduring workplace harassment can have terrible emotional and physical consequences and do their utmost to help you stand up for your rights to be free from harassment in the workplace.
Working with an experienced Knoxville employment lawyer at Employment and Commerce Law Group could help you find a legal solution to the harassment you have endured. To learn more about how our attorneys could help you with your workplace harassment claim, please call our office in Knoxville.