Pennsylvania Sexual Harassment

There are a number of employment laws on both the federal and state level that prohibit discrimination in the workplace, and one of the most common and damaging types of discrimination that may take place at work is sexual harassment. If you believe you have been the victim of sexual harassment in Pennsylvania, whether it was physical or verbal in nature, consult a knowledgeable PA employment law attorney as soon as possible. You may be entitled to back pay, reinstatement, promotion, or possibly even compensatory and punitive damages, which you can pursue by filing a sexual harassment claim against your employer.

What is Considered Sexual Harassment?

Sexual harassment in the workplace is a form of sex discrimination that violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, a federal law that applies to employers across the United States with 15 or more employees. In its simplest form, sexual harassment describes unwanted sexual advances by an employer, a coworker or another person at work, and in some cases, may even occur outside of the workplace, such as at an off-site holiday party for the office. Some common types of sexual harassment include:

  • Sexual comments
  • Sexual bribery
  • Unlawful touching
  • Sexual jokes
  • Sexual coercion
  • Sexual advances
  • Requests for sexual favors

Types of Sexual Harassment

There are various forms of sexual harassment that may take place at work, including requests for sexual favors, unwelcome sexual advances, and verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature, in instances when it is implied that submission to such conduct is a term or condition of an individual’s employment, or when submission to or refusal of the conduct is used as a basis for employment decisions, such as hiring, firing, promotion or assignments. This is sometimes referred to as quid pro quo harassment. In some cases, sexual harassment at work can become so severe that it unreasonably interferes with an individual’s work performance, or creates a hostile or offensive work environment, known as hostile work environment harassment.

Sexual Harassment Laws Pennsylvania // Employment Law Help Center

Filing a Complaint for Workplace Sexual Harassment

In Pennsylvania, a sexual harassment or sex discrimination claim can be filed either with the state Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission (PHRC) or the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), which work together to process sexual harassment claims in PA. If your workplace has between four and 14 employees, you should file with the PHRC, as the EEOC enforces federal employment law that covers workplaces with 15 or more employees. You may also choose to file an individual lawsuit against your employer for sexual harassment that resulted in adverse consequences at work, in order to pursue remedies, such as:

  • Back pay
  • Hiring
  • Promotion
  • Reinstatement
  • Compensatory damages
  • Punitive damages
  • Attorneys’ fees
  • Court costs

An Experienced PA Sexual Harassment Attorney Can Help

Sexual harassment is a serious problem in all types of workplaces across the country, one that can adversely affect men and women alike. If you are being pressured into having a sexual relationship with your boss, if you are being forced to listen to foul language or slurs, or if you have been fired because you refused unwanted sexual advances at work, you may have grounds to file a sexual harassment claim against your employer, supervisor, coworker, or another person at work. Contact an experienced employment law attorney in Pennsylvania today, to protect your legal rights and to explore your possible compensation options.