Detroit Coworker Sexual Harassment Attorneys
In the workplace, people expect professional and respectful treatment, not only by their supervisors but also by their coworkers. Unfortunately, and all too often, coworkers act in ways that are not only inappropriate but offensive, demeaning, hostile, and against the law. No employee should have to endure sexual harassment by a colleague, and no employer should be allowed to ignore or sweep such misconduct under the rug when made aware of it.
When sexual harassment by a coworker goes unchecked and unaddressed, victims can feel powerless, scared, and uncertain about how to handle the situation. At Sommers Schwartz, we are staunch advocates for victims of workplace sexual harassment. Our employment attorneys bring a wealth of knowledge, experience, and personal commitment to the representation of those who suffer the indignity and trauma of offensive comments, unwanted touching or sexual advances, and a workplace in which they feel unsafe and disrespected.
What Is Sexual Harassment by a Coworker?
Under both federal and Michigan law, sexual harassment is a form of prohibited sex discrimination, akin to discrimination based on race, religion, or other protected characteristics.
Prohibited sexual harassment is generally defined as unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other statements or acts of a sexual nature that explicitly or implicitly affect a person’s employment, interferes with their work performance, or creates a hostile or offensive work environment.
A coworker can sexually harass a colleague, either male or female, in any number of ways. Sexual harassment by a coworker can take many forms, many of which are more subtle than unwanted touching or groping but just as traumatic, harmful, and unacceptable. This can include such words and deeds as:
- Touching, rubbing, or other unwanted contact.
- Inappropriate texts, photos, emails, or messages.
- Leering or staring.
- Exposure of genitals or other body parts.
- Sexually explicit or pornographic images and videos.
- Rude or overtly sexual comments about someone’s body.
- Rude or offensive comments about someone’s gender or appearance.
Harassers Should Be Held Accountable. Employers Should Be As Well.
For many victims of workplace sexual harassment, the emotional and psychological trauma of such mistreatment by a coworker can be compounded by uncertainty and fear about how or whether to respond or report the misconduct. But when an employee does make their employer aware of a colleague’s sexual harassment, as they should, the law obligates the employer to take action.
Under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, the federal law that prohibits workplace sexual harassment, employees have the right to work in an environment free from discriminatory intimidation, ridicule, and insult, including sexual harassment. That right inherently requires employers to remedy known hostile or offensive work environments created by sexual misconduct and harassment.
When an employer receives a complaint or otherwise learns of alleged sexual harassment by a coworker, the employer should investigate the allegations promptly and thoroughly and take necessary steps to end the harassment. When they fail to do so, victims can seek relief and compensation.
Sommers Schwartz: Michigan Workplace Sexual Harassment Attorneys
The employment attorneys at Sommers Schwartz aggressively pursue claims on behalf of workers who endure sexual harassment by a coworker and suffer the further indignity of having their pleas about such misconduct ignored by their employers. If you have been or continue to be sexually harassed in the workplace, we welcome the opportunity to assist you. Please contact us today for a free consultation to discuss your case.