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sexual harassment definition pearce law firmMany people who are dealing with sexual harassment in Philadelphia at work aren’t even sure if the actions of their coworkers or superiors are considered harassment. At The Pearce Law Firm, we get asked a great deal, ‘what is considered sexual harassment in pa?’ There are two main types of sexual harassment in the workplace, these are:

Overt Sexual Harassment
Sexual demands are made directly by a coworker or superior, and require to be fulfilled or complied with in exchange for employment, a promotion, pay raises, or other compensation or opportunities.

Hostile Work Environment
An employee (typically female) is subjected to unwelcome sexualized behavior (either verbal or physical in nature) and unwelcome sexual advances, which create an offensive or hostile environment for the employee.

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits sexual harassment. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) defines sexual harassment as:

“Unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature… when… submission to or rejection of such conduct is used as the basis for employment decisions… or such conduct has the purpose or effect of… creating an intimidating hostile or offensive working environment.”

See also…What to Do if You Are Sexually Harassed

Examples of Workplace Sexual Harassment

Many times a supervisor or boss will engage in sexual harassment. However, this type of harassment is illegal even if the perpetrator is not your boss or supervisor. An employer is not permitted to allow a co-worker to create a hostile or offensive work environment which interferes with your ability to do your job. Sexual harassment does not have to be overt to be real or actionable.

Some examples of more subtle forms of sexual harassment include:

  • Sexual jokes;
  • Displaying or distributing pornographic materials;
  • Inappropriate touching even if in the form of “innocent” affection or friendliness;
  • Suggestive comments about your appearance, whistling or catcalls about one’s appearance or dress;
  • Using inappropriate terms such as honey, baby, darling, sweetheart;
  • Inappropriate questions or references to an employee’s sex life.

More obvious and overt examples include:

  • Sexual gestures,
  • Sexual remarks,
  • Sexual touching,
  • Sexual overtures,
  • Grabbing or groping,
  • Unwanted sexual advances,
  • Actual or attempted sexual assault.

Any outright offers to trade favors, promotions, raises, bonuses, benefits, advancements, hiring, or threats of firing in exchange for sexual favors is also blatantly against sexual harassment laws.


Taking Action

sexual harassment in the workplace pearce law firmIf you are the victim of these or any other forms of sexual harassment you should report the problem to your superior, your human resources department, and your union representative (if applicable). Please read “What to do if you are sexually harassed.” You should also speak with an experienced sexual harassment attorney as soon as possible to preserve your rights as there are strict time limits for reporting discrimination violations. Claims with the Equal Opportunity Commission and Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission must be filed as soon as six months after the act of discrimination.

An Experienced Sexual Harassment Lawyer in Philadelphia With Expertise

If your rights have been violated by an employer or potential employer, Philadelphia sexual harassment and discrimination attorney Edith A. Pearce can help. Edith Pearce has been considered the best of the best in employment law. In 2005, Edith Pearce was named a “Super Lawyer,” designating her as one of the top 5% of Pennsylvania attorneys. In fact, in the practice area of employment litigation, only 41 attorneys received this honor, and only 12 of the 41 were women, including Edith Pearce. She has received the highest rating, “AV,” from Martindale-Hubbell.

An expert in employment issues, sexual harassment and sexual discrimination, Ms. Pearce takes an aggressive approach towards sexual harassment violations to get the best possible results for her clients. Up-to-the-minute knowledge of the rapidly changing interpretations of sexual harassment law is absolutely critical to your case, as is a swift investigation, early trial posturing and vigorous pursuit. Edith Pearce is a highly sought after discrimination attorney and is considered one of the best sexual harassment attorney near you in Philadelphia. She has appeared on various television programs including It’s Your Call with Lynn Doyle for her legal opinion on current employment law issues of the day including sexual harassment charges against Bill O’Reilly.

Sexual Harassment in the Workplace is Illegal and Wrong

Employers who engage in or allow sexual harassment must be stopped; and employees who have been victims of discrimination should be fairly compensated.

Edith Pearce is the sexual harassment attorney near you to do both.

If you feel you have been sexually harassed and your rights have been violated by an employer or potential employer in Philadelphia or anywhere in Pennsylvania and New Jersey, the firm will thoroughly investigate your claim and will work diligently to arrive at a timely settlement or proceed to trial to obtain the compensation you deserve.

Call today for a FREE SEXUAL HARASSMENT OR DISCRIMINATION CONSULTATION, or send us an instant e-mail.

We are dedicated to protecting your rights, putting a stop to sexual harassment and obtaining full and fair compensation for you.

(215) 557-8686 :: Contact Us

If you feel you have been sexually harassed and your rights have been violated by an employer or potential employer in Philadelphia or anywhere in Pennsylvania, call today to speak to an employment discrimination lawyer in Philadelphia, for a free sexual harassment and discrimination consultation.

Check out what Beth had to say about us on Avvo:

“Attorney Pearce is my first call when referring or seeking a consultation on PA employment and other litigation matters. She unerringly knows the law and procedure and how it will play out in court.”

Rating: 5/5 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

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