Workplace harassment is a type of employment discrimination which violates Title VII or the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Tennessee human rights and disabilities laws. Employers who are found guilty of workplace harassment can – and should – be held accountable for their actions.
If you have been the victim of workplace harassment, speak with a Nashville harassment lawyer today. Let our employment lawyers evaluate your situation and determine what course of actions makes the most sense for you.
Remember, employers cannot retaliate against you for reporting harassing behavior. Those who do will likely be investigated by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and subjected to lawsuits, fines, and monitoring.
There are many forms of workplace harassment; some of the most common types of conduct that warrant attention from a Nashville harassment lawyer include offensive jokes, sexual innuendos, name-calling, physical threats, bullying, intimidation of any kind, sending lewd or offensive pictures or videos by email or social media, and many more. The conduct is generally based on a protected class, which includes:
However, it can often go beyond that and include someone’s political beliefs and ideologies, gender identification, sexual orientation or preference, criminal history, affiliations to social groups or clubs, marital status, whether someone is a smoker, and many more.
Harassment can also be sexual in nature. According to the EEOC, sexual harassment can include “unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical harassment of a sexual nature.”
Sexual harassment is frequently used to grant employment opportunities in exchange for sexual favors.
However, for harassment of any kind to be actionable, the offensive conduct or behavior must constitute “something more” than just obnoxious behavior. It must also be of the type that, 1) enduring it essentially becomes a condition of continued employment, 2) it is severe or pervasive enough to create a work environment that any reasonable person would consider intimidating, hostile, or abusive, or 3) it resulted in an adverse employment action such as termination, demotion, or transfer.
Harassing conduct and behavior can come from anyone, including someone’s direct supervisor, a supervisor in another department, the owner of the company, another co-worker, customers, and even from outside vendors.
Employees who have been harassed, whether in the form of a hostile work environment or sexual harassment, should always report it to Human Resources. Employers have an obligation to investigate all forms of harassment or face their own investigations from the EEOC and other regulatory bodies.
Employers who fail to do so also subject themselves to harassment lawsuits from employees who may be compensated for medical bills related to stress and seeking therapy, mental anguish, lost career opportunities, and more.
Anyone who is not sure that the behavior they are experiencing is “harassing enough” to be illegal should contact an experienced harassment attorney to find out more.
Employers who are found guilty of creating hostile work environments, or allowing sexual harassment and other harassing conduct and behavior to knowingly exist in the workplace, must be held accountable for their actions.
If you have been the victim of a hostile work environment, sexual harassment, or any type of harassing behavior, contact an experienced Nashville harassment lawyer today. Let us review your situation and evaluate what legal options are available to you.