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Facing Harassment

Your Options When Faced with Harassment

Most sexual harassment claims are made under Title VII of the Federal Civil Rights Act of 1964, which states:

…it shall be an unlawful employment practice for an employer… to discriminate against any individual with respect to his compensation, terms, conditions, or privileges of employment, because of such individual’s race, color, religion, sex, or national origin.

[four promises]

What is sexual harassment?

Sexual harassment makes you think that if you don’t submit to sexual advances or remarks, you might lose your job, or fail to get a promotion, or your career might suffer in some other way.

The Federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has defined 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.

Two kinds of sexual harassment in Michigan

Michigan’s Elliot-Larsen Civil Rights Act identifies two broad categories of sexual harassment – quid pro quo and hostile work environment.

Being an employee

  • You’re paid a salary or an hourly wage, or a combination of base salary and commission
  • Your employer withholds taxes for you
  • You can apply for unemployment compensation and workers’ compensation
  • You can bring a claim for wrongful termination

Quid pro quo

Quid pro quo means “this for that”. In other words, “You give me a sexual favor and I’ll let you have your job” (or a promotion etc.). Clearly this makes an unpleasant situation for the victim. A discrimination attorney can be of great help in guiding you through this and helping to end it.

Hostile work environment

This form of harassment is a little more nebulous, harder to pin down. It consists of a co-worker or superior making remarks or doing things that cause you to feel uncomfortable about your sex. There need be no specific demands made.

To be proved, it has to be persistent and severe, more than just the occasional sexual remark or joke – what the court will call “stray remarks”. Your employer is legally responsible if this sort of hostile work environment can be proved to exist around you.

Who engages in sexual harassment?

Most often it’s men harassing young women. But at times it’s also:

  • Women harassing men
  • Men harassing other men
  • Women harassing other women

The victims are not always young and aren’t always what would popularly be considered “attractive”. Often, however, they are workers who desperately need their jobs, as this makes them more likely to submit to harassment.

Why is it difficult to report?

At times sexual harassment goes unreported because the victim feels embarrassed, ashamed, or fearful. What if you report it and your boss says you asked for it? What if you become known as a “troublemaker”? What if you get demoted for making a fuss?

The alternative to reporting it, other than silently submitting to it, is to get another job or a transfer. But if that’s done, the harasser is then able to choose another victim and continue without any consequences happening.

What to do if you’re being harassed

The first thing to do is make it very clear to the person harassing you that it’s not welcome.

  • State your objection the first time it happens. Don’t just be polite or joke it off in a friendly way.
  • If it happens a second or third time, put your objection in writing to your supervisor and ask for a written reply.
  • Keep notes on exactly when it occurs, where, and what you did and said.
  • Mention it to other co-workers and ask if they’ve had a similar problem.
  • If you have to, use a grievance procedure and ramp up your objection to your supervisor’s supervisor.
  • If you belong to a union, know that under the National Labor Relations Act, that union must represent you on sexual harassment issues.

Jay Trucks & Associates, in Flint Michigan, are sexual discrimination attorneys who have successfully represented thousands of people and collected millions of dollars on their behalf. We are strong advocates for sexual discrimination victims and tough negotiators with employers.

Contact us today for a free initial consultation.

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Since 1979, Jay Trucks & Associates has been dedicated to fighting for those who have been injured. Whether you have been injured in an accident, on the job, or denied Social Security Disability, you can count on our experienced attorneys to be dedicated to your case and focused on getting you all of the money you deserve.

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At Jay Trucks & Associates, we've worked hard over the past few decades to fight for our clients to get them all of the money they deserve. Whether it was for an auto accident, injury, workers' compensation, or Social Security Disability case, our experienced attorneys have helped our clients fight for their rights and get their lives back on track.
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The Jay Trucks & Associates’ office staff was amazing. Shelly and Sarah kept me informed and up-to-date, and were very compassionate and caring. The office and attorneys handled both my worker’s compensation and Social Security Disability claims. Nice job, with the positive conclusion to both. (The only thing I would have wished for was a sped up timeline, but that was on the Defendants and not Jay Trucks’ office.) Thank you again for all your help and assistance.

H. Alexander
Jay Trucks & Associates, PC: Michigan's Lawyers for the Injured
Jay Trucks & Associates, P.C. serves clients across the State of Michigan in injury, workers' compensation, and Social Security Disability cases.
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Jay Trucks & Associates, PC
600 Pine Street
Clare, Michigan 48617
Phone: 800-762-8623
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The information provided on this website by Michigan personal injury attorneys, Jay Trucks & Associates, P.C. is offered for informational purposes only; it is not offered as and does not constitute legal Personal Injury advice. Jay Trucks & Associates, P.C. does not seek to represent you based upon your visit or review of this website. This Website may be considered advertising under the rules of the State Bar of Michigan. You should not make legal hiring decisions based upon brochures, advertising, or other promotional materials. Past results obtained by this law firm do not guarantee future case results. Our experienced attorneys serve the entire state of Michigan, handling injury, accident, workers' compensation, and Social Security Disability cases. Contact personal injury attorneys, Jay Trucks & Associates, P.C. to schedule a free initial consultation at 800-762-8623.