As a worker in the state of Oklahoma, you have the right to a workplace that is safe and free from discrimination. Unfortunately for people of all genders and identities, this is not always the case; sexual harassment in the workplace is a pervasive problem that can affect anyone.
If your ability to work comfortably has been affected by the presence of sexual harassment, you have the right to take action. Our Ponca City lawyers at the law firm of Boettcher, Ingle, Devinney & Wicker can help you to understand your options and the legal remedies available to you following sexual harassment in the workplace.
Your Right to Work in a Workplace Free of Sexual Harassment
As found in the anti-harassment policy published by the State of Oklahoma Human Capital Management Division, sexual harassment is defined as: ” Any 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 work environment.”
In other words, conduct that is sexual in nature is prohibited under the law when:
- It is used as a bargaining chip or as a quid pro quo (i.e. a person will get a promotion if they agree to sexual conduct, or will be denied from an opportunity if they refuse the conduct); or
- It creates an uncomfortable and hostile work environment, even if not used in a quid pro quo manner.
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What Should I do if Sexual Harassment is Occurring in the Workplace?
It can be intimidating to know what to do if sexual harassment is occurring in the workplace, especially if your boss is the one engaging in the harassment. Steps to take include:
- Write down every single instance of harassment – keeping thorough documentation is crucial;
- Report the harassment to a supervisor or manager – document this report;
- If no action is taken to alleviate the situation, call a labor law lawyer in Ponca City who can help you file a complaint or lawsuit.
If you file a complaint with the State of Oklahoma Human Resources Department regarding the harassment, the department has a duty to thoroughly investigate your complaint. It is important that you file your complaint within 20 days’ time of the harassment; otherwise, your complaint may not be investigated. Remedies for sexual harassment may include reinstatement to your position, back pay for any lost or withheld wages, compensatory damages, compensation for future lost wages, and more.
Our Ponca City Sexual Harassment Lawyers can Help
You deserve to work in a place where sexual harassment does not pervade the environment and inhibit your ability to work comfortably or pursue opportunities. If you are a victim of workplace sexual harassment, our Ponca City employment lawyers can help you. Please call our talented legal team today to schedule your free consultation and learn more about your rights.
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