Our Charlotte Attorneys can help with Sexual Harassment and Sexual Assault Claims & Lawsuits
Has your place of employment turned into a hostile work environment due to sexual harassment? Are you or your management facing sexual harassment allegations from your employees? Sexual harassment is a serious issue that requires serious action. If you are involved in a situation where you are facing sexual harassment or charges of sexual harassment, an accomplished employment lawyer can be your greatest asset.
At the law firm of Maloney Law & Associates, PLLC, in Charlotte, we are committed to finding solutions to the employment law problems of employees and employers. We will approach your case as the unique legal matter it is and work hard to resolve your case in a way that makes sense for you and protects your interests.
Don’t let a sexual harassment case ruin your career or your business. Protect yourself and get the representation you need. Call our law firm today at 704-323-8961 or toll free at 888-321-1955 to schedule an appointment with an experienced employment law attorney.
What Is Sexual Harassment?
While some things like aggressive physical contact and sexual propositions are obvious forms of sexual harassment, others are not so easy to recognize or deter. There are many misconceptions in this area of the law. For instance, the sexual orientation of the parties does not matter; the sexual harassment by a heterosexual of a gay coworker, is still sexual harassment.
In sexual harassment cases, it is important to show when the company was on notice about what was happening, and what they did or did not do in response. It is important for employers to keep all relevant documentation and conduct a timely and adequate investigation followed by appropriate actions. The accuser must be protected from further harassment and retaliation during and after the investigation.
Employers with knowledge are required to investigate even if the employee being harassed does not make a formal complaint or asks the employer not to investigate. Employers should recognize that victims of sexual harassment may be afraid to report it immediately or at all, due to threats from the harasser or fear of retaliation or termination.
What Evidence Can Reveal the Truth of a Sexual Harassment Claim in Charlotte, NC?
One of the most critical pieces of evidence in any sexual harassment case is the testimony of the person making the allegations. This is because, in many cases, the only witnesses to the alleged harassment are the victim and the person accused of harassment. Many times the crux of the allegation is “he said, she said.”
Other important evidence may include:
- Physical evidence: During the investigation of a sexual harassment claim, any physical evidence that exists must be preserved. This could include electronic communication such as text messages or emails containing lewd or suggestive comments, photographs and any video recordings relevant to allegations of harassment or retaliation for not submitting to a harasser’s propositions or advances.
- Witness testimony: If others witnessed the alleged harassment, their testimony would corroborate the victim’s story. This could include co-workers, friends, or family members who saw or heard the alleged harassment take place.
- Documentation: Important documentation in sexual harassment cases might include communications between the victim and the accused, as well as any records the victim may have kept that document the alleged harassment.
- Security footage: If the alleged harassment occurred in a public place or in an area with security footage, this footage can be very important in corroborating the victim’s story. This is a highly persuasive piece of evidence that can be difficult for the accused to refute, as it directly shows what took place or places them near the location of the harassment.
- Medical records: If the victim went to a doctor or counselor after the alleged harassment occurred, their medical records can be important evidence. This is because these records can document any injuries sustained during the harassment, along with any psychological trauma the victim may have experienced.
- Police reports: If the victim reported the harassment to law enforcement, their police report could be valuable evidence. This is because it shows that the victim took action immediately after the alleged harassment occurred, which can help corroborate their story. The report will also include details such as the victim’s statements, the officer’s observations, and any potential evidence collected at the scene.
The above list is not exhaustive, but simply provides examples of different types of evidence that may be important in a sexual harassment case. It is important to remember that every sexual harassment case is different, and the most important evidence will vary depending on the facts and circumstances in a particular case. If you believe that you are a victim of sexual harassment, you should speak to an experienced attorney who can help you understand your claim and help you gather the evidence you need to build your case.
Examples of Sexual Harassment at Work
Sexual harassment can occur in a variety of circumstances. Some common situations that give rise to sexual harassment claims include:
- The harasser is a supervisor or manager or higher tanking coworker, or owner or director of the company: In many cases, the person accused of sexual harassment is someone in a position of power or authority over the victim. This could be a supervisor, teacher, or coach. Because of the power dynamic, victims may be afraid to speak up or report the harassment for fear of retaliation or escalation of the harassment.
- The harasser is a co-worker: Sexual harassment does not always come from a supervisor or other person in a position of power and influence. In many cases, it occurs between co-workers. This can be especially true in workplaces with a lot of interaction between employees, such as restaurants, factories, or retail stores.
- The harasser is a customer, client, or vendor: In some cases, the person accused of sexual harassment is a customer or client of the victim. This could occur in a retail setting, a service industry job, or any other type of job where the victim has regular contact with customers, clients, vendors, or other third parties.
- The harasser is someone online: With the rise of the internet and social media, online sexual harassment has become more common. This could include receiving unsolicited messages or photographs, being subject to cyberstalking, or being targeted by hate speech or threats.
These are a just a few examples of situations that can give rise to a sexual harassment claim. If you are the victim of sexual harassment, it is crucial to speak to an experienced attorney who can help you understand your rights and options.
What to Do If You Have Been the Victim of Sexual Harassment in Charlotte, NC
If you have been the victim of sexual harassment, there are a few important steps you should take:
- Report the harassment: The first step is to report the harassment to your employer, supervisor, or another appropriate person in your organization. This is important because it puts your employer on notice of the problem and allows them to address it.
- Document the harassment: Once you have reported the harassment, it is important to start documenting it. This could include keeping a journal of incidents, saving emails or messages, and taking screenshots of any online harassment. This documentation can be very important if you decide to take legal action.
- Consider a restraining order: In some cases, the victim of sexual harassment may also want to consider pursuing a restraining order. This can be an effective way to protect yourself from further harassment and may also help support any legal action you decide to take. When in effect, the alleged abuser is legally barred from any contact with you. This can offer a great deal of peace of mind while you pursue other legal options.
- Know your rights: Sexual harassment is a form of discrimination, which means that there are laws in place to protect you from being subjected to it. From filing a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission to filing a lawsuit, there are a variety of options available that can recoup damages for the harm you have suffered.
- Speak to an attorney: One of the most important things you can do if you have been the victim of sexual harassment is to speak to an experienced attorney. An attorney can help you understand and advise on the best legal options for your particular case and ensure that your rights are fully protected.
- Do not resign: You may give up important rights if you resign without first consulting an attorney.
- Safety first: If you do not feel safe at work, you need to understand your rights and options while preserving your claims. That can include medical leave or other leave of absence.
Contact Our Charlotte Sexual Harassment Lawyers Today
Whether you are filing a claim or defending against one, you can benefit from our skills and experience. We can help you file with the EEOC to preserve your claim, or help you file a suit or defend against a suit.
Contact us at 704-323-8961 or toll free at 888-321-1955 to speak to one of our knowledgeable employment lawyers.