Arizona Sexual Harassment Laws
Approximately 85 percent of women have been victims of sexual harassment in the office and 25 percent of sexual harassment claims are made by men. It’s a startling statistic and one that should give employers pause to evaluate their policies and procedures to ensure alignment with Arizona employment law when it comes to sexual harassment.
Victims of workplace sexual harassment often don’t report it. In fact, Huffington Post found that 75 percent of employees who face these crimes don’t report them. This is mostly due to fear of what the employer might do and how they might retaliate. The even worse news is, that those who fear retaliation have reason to because 75 percent of those who filed sexual harassment cases with their employers were retaliated against for their report.
Arizona sexual harassment employment laws
You should feel safe in your place of employment, but if you don’t you can lean on the court system to protect you when your employer won’t. In Arizona court case EEOC v. Prospect Airport Servs. the court allowed trial to move forward when a man filed sexual harassment against a woman in the workplace. His manager called the inappropriate advances from the woman “just a joke” and did nothing about the complaint. The court recognized that sexual harassment is never a joke.
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission is an arm of the federal government. It has set forth guidelines for what sexual harassment is in the workplace to provide protection and consistency for employees. Here are actions that are sexual harassment:
- Unwanted advances of a sexual nature
- Requests for sexual favors
- Any verbal or physical actions that are of a sexual nature
If an employee is subjected to accepting these actions as part of their employment, this is certainly workplace sexual harassment under Arizona employment law. Additionally, if an employee is forced to accept sexual harassment as part of being hired or promoted, that is definitely a case of sexual harassment. Finally, if the employee being harassed feels as though the workplace is hostile or intimidating, this is workplace sexual harassment.
Reporting sexual harassment to your employer in Arizona
Your company should have a process for reporting sexual harassment in the workplace. If it does not, you can start with your manager. When you file a sexual harassment complaint, you should include information about:
- Employee or employees involved
- Date and location of the incident
- Any other employees who might have witnessed the inappropriate behavior
If your manager does not take immediate action, your next course of action should be to file your complaint with someone above your manager or with the human resources department.
Seeking an Arizona lawyer for sexual harassment lawsuits
If you’ve taken all the necessary courses of action within your company and still have not received proper relief from sexual harassment in the workplace, it’s time to seek an Arizona employment law attorney.
An attorney will review with you the sexual harassment you’re experiencing to help you build a case. Your attorney will then file a lawsuit against your employer. Or, if your employer has in-house legal counsel, your attorney might be able to approach your employer directly. If you can approach your employer’s legal team directly, this will help you avoid the costly and timely experience of going through the court system.
When you meet with your attorney, you should have all the same documentation as when you met with your manager. However, you’ll also want to have information on the meetings you had with your employer, who you talked to, when, and what their response was to your complaint. This will help your attorney build your case effectively with all the right information. Click here to find out if discrimination is illegal in the workplace.