Women have made extraordinary professional strides over the last half-century. While many companies remain shamefully un-diverse, women are now working hard at every level of organizations throughout the economy.
This is indisputably a positive development. Tragically, however, some individuals and companies have failed to adjust and allow a culture of sexual harassment to flourish, putting both men and women at risk.
James Shoemaker is an employment lawyer with decades of experience in sexual harassment litigation. He knows how unacceptable such harassment is and he works with victims to pursue the compensation they deserve.
If you've been the victim of sexual harassment and you need an experienced lawyer, please call 757-223-4580 for a consultation.
Types of Sexual Harassment
There's a “classic” variety of sexual harassment that most people are familiar with and think of when the term sexual harassment comes to mind. This is quid pro quo sexual harassment.
In these cases, an individual with power over another (usually a supervisor dealing with an employee) uses that power to extract sexual favors. This can take the form of offering a raise or promotion in exchange for a date or sex, or trying to coerce such favors by threatening retribution if sex is refused.
This is loathsome behavior, as unacceptable as it is illegal. But it's not the only type of sexual harassment.
The other form of harassment our firm handles is hostile environment harassment. In these cases, the harassment is less about a precipitating incident or incidents or a single bad actor and is more about the culture and atmosphere cultivated at the company.
Too many companies implicitly tolerate an environment that is hostile, usually toward women. This hostility can take the form of:
- Insulting, degrading or sexually explicit jokes
- Tolerated sexual advances
- Circulation of pornography in the workplace
More generally, a hostile workplace environment is one in which individuals reasonably feel uncomfortable and unable to advance through the organization as a result of a culture tolerated by management.
Fighting for Your Rights in Sexual Harassment Litigation
Neither form of sexual harassment is acceptable. It can prevent you from advancing in your career and earning a salary commensurate with your talents. And it's important to remember that ultimate responsibility for repeated harassment doesn't just rest with the individual doing with the harassment – if it can be proven that management was aware of the specific harassment in question or tolerated a culture of harassment, the company as a whole can be held accountable.
Mr. Shoemaker understands the intricacies of local, state and federal sexual harassment laws. He can help you pursue compensation for the harassment you suffered, putting your career back on track and holding accountable those who harassed you or tolerated your victimization.
If you want to speak to our experienced sexual harassment lawyer about your experience and discuss your legal options, please call James Shoemaker at 757-223-4580 for a consultation. Though located in Virginia, Patten, Wornom, Hatten & Diamonstein accepts employment law cases from across the country.