What is an Oregon sexual harassment attorney and how do I know if I need one?
The attorneys at Meyer Stephenson specialize in representing clients in employment harassment cases. Sexual harassment is a form of sex discrimination that violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Oregon law when it occurs in the workplace.
Sexual harassment can take many forms, including repeated sexual flirtations, advances or propositions, continued or repeated language of a sexual nature, graphic or degrading comments about an individual or his/her appearance, the display of sexually suggestive objects or pictures, or any unwelcome or abusive physical contact of a sexual nature that explicitly or implicitly affects an individual’s employment. Unwelcome is the crucial word. Unwelcome means unwanted. Sexual conduct is unwelcome whenever the person subjected to it considers it unwelcome.
Anyone, of any gender, can be a victim of sexual harassment. The victim and the harasser can be of any gender and they can be the same sex. 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.
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is the federal agency responsible for investigating charges of job discrimination related to sex in the workplace. The Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries (BOLI) Civil Rights Division is the Oregon State agency charged with investigating complaints of harassment and/or discrimination in the workplace.
Employees have the right to a workplace free from harassment. As of October 1, 2020, every Oregon employer is required to have a clear policy to reduce and prevent harassment, discrimination, and sexual assault through the Workplace Fairness Act. According to BOLI, an employer’s policy should define sexual harassment and emphatically state that it is not tolerated. Employers should allow verbal or written complaints, and should provide a grievance procedure that bypasses the immediate supervisor if they are the alleged harasser. The policy should also describe the disciplinary actions that may be taken, up to and including termination.
According to the EEOC, 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).
Employees who are victims of sexual harassment in the workplace have various remedies available to them. For more information about your specific circumstance please contact our office to inquire about a free consultation.
Sexual Harassment Lawyer, Portland Oregon
While sexual harassment is the most widely publicized form of harassment, it is also illegal to harass an employee for other reasons. An Oregon sexual harassment attorney from Meyer Stephenson represents employees who have been victims of harassment in the following ways:
- National Origin
- Marital status
- Family relationship
- Genetic Information
- Injured Worker (Invoking the Workers’ Compensation System)
- Sexual Orientation
- Gender Identity
- Domestic Violence Victim
- Opposition to unsafe working conditions
- Equal pay
- Criminal convictions
- Uniformed Services (USERRA)
- Exercising rights under medical leave statutes (OFLA and/or FMLA)
- Exercising rights under military leave statutes (Oregon Military Family Leave Act)
Have you experienced sexual harassment in your workplace? Do you have questions about harassment? Allow an Oregon sexual harassment attorney to help. Contact us at Meyer Stephenson.