If you or a loved one has been subjected to sexual harassment of any kind, you should contact an experienced lawyer as soon as possible. Your rights have been breached, and you deserve to hold your harassers accountable for the harm they have caused you.
Victims of sexual harassment are coming forward and asking for help, more so now than ever. These egregious acts can take place at work, at church, and in medical settings. Most often, the perpetrator is in a position of trust and power, which allows the perpetrator to take advantage of an unsuspecting victim.
At Terry Bryant Accident & Injury Law, we protect our clients, and we make sure that those who wrong them are held responsible for their actions. Our team will always…
- Believe what you tell us has happened to you.
- Help you understand the legal options you have available.
- Be supportive of your decision to come forward or to remain silent. We will never pressure you to move forward if you don’t feel comfortable doing so.
- Act only in your best interest.
Let us help. If you are a survivor of sexual harassment, contact our sexual harassment lawyers in Houston by calling (713) 973-8888 or filling out our online contact form today. We offer free, confidential consultations to help you better understand your legal options.
Defining Sexual Harassment
In the context of the workplace, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) defines sexual harassment as “[u]nwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature [which] constitute sexual harassment when this conduct explicitly or implicitly affects an individual’s employment, unreasonably interferes with an individual’s work performance or creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive work environment.”
Think of this definition in other institutional environments — for example, in a church community when a clergy member or church elder acts inappropriately with an adult or minor parishioner. Medical professionals also have a unique degree of authority when caring for patients, especially during physical examinations or after anesthesia is administered. However, there is a difference between physical contact necessary for treatment and unwanted advances or touching.
It is not uncommon for a survivor of sexual harassment to come forward years later. Whether it’s due to trauma, feelings of embarrassment, or fear of what may happen, you may have several years to pursue the perpetrator. Remedies may be available in claims against both the individual perpetrator and the institution where the harassment took place.
Why You Should Take Legal Action After Suffering Sexual Harassment
A survivor of sexual harassment might question the value of seeking accountability on the part of the person who wronged them. You might feel like the incident or incidents are in the past and that you’d like to leave them there. It is important to understand that you should never feel pressure to tell your story if you don’t wish to do so. It is our experience that survivors of sexual harassment eventually arrive at a place where they speak out and take legal action to regain control over their situation and to hold those at fault accountable for their actions.
Empowerment and Agency
Survivors of sexual harassment sometimes feel as though they are without agency (ability to make a difference) in their personal and professional lives. They have been wronged and, in many instances, left to suffer silently from the actions perpetrated against them. By speaking out against those that wronged them, survivors feel a deserved sense of control over their situation. That sense of empowerment can be incredibly significant for someone who feels marginalized by their harasser.
Seeking Accountability and Stopping Further Harassment
The person or persons who harassed or exploited you deserve a reckoning for their actions. When a survivor takes the steps needed to hold them accountable for what they have done, they aren’t simply seeking justice for what has occurred. They are also ensuring that others won’t be subjected to similar harassment. People who sexually harass others often have a history of this type of behavior. Standing up to them is one way to ensure their behavior stops.
Recouping the Costs of Harassment
Survivors of harassment have been forced to deal with many challenges, including emotional suffering, humiliation, and, in some cases, termination from their job or a demotion at work. If you have suffered any of these consequences in conjunction with sexual harassment, you deserve compensation. By taking legal action, you can demand the payment you are entitled to.
If you have been subjected to sexual harassment at work or in any other setting, you should know that you have options to hold your harasser accountable. We encourage you to contact the sexual harassment lawyers at Terry Bryant to learn more about what to do next. Call us today at (713) 973-8888 or fill out our confidential contact form to get started.
Steps to Take After Being Sexually Harassed at Work
When sexually harassed at work, you could be unsure of the steps to take next. It might take time to process what has happened to you. You might replay the incidents in your head to make sense of what has occurred. Once you decide to take action, you should…
Contact local law enforcement if a crime has been committed.
- Find out what policies your employer has in place regarding harassment. Follow the processes set forth by the company.
- If possible, gather any evidence of the harassment. If the person who harassed sent emails or texts that are relevant, save those messages to be presented as evidence. If you have any marks or bruises, take pictures of your injuries.
- Make sure that any reports you make to human resources or relevant parties at your company are documented in writing.
- If your employer presents you with a response or a notice regarding your complaint, keep copies of what they send you.
- If the person who harassed you was in a position of authority, report the incident to someone who outranks them.
- If another person at work was witness to your harasser’s behavior, you might ask them to back up your account of what happened.
- At any point in this process, you can contact an attorney to make sure you are treated with the respect that you deserve.
It is best to report any harassment as soon as possible. However, it is understandable if it takes time to process what has happened. Regardless of when the incident occurred, you are entitled to stand up for your rights.
Examples of Sexual Harassment at Work
Sexual harassment at work takes many different forms. Harassment can be explicit or implicit. It can be verbal or physical. Some of the most common examples of harassment include…
- Making lewd or suggestive comments in private conversations or in the presence of others.
- Sending inappropriate texts or emails.
- Making sexual advances and reacting to rejection by taking punitive measures (i.e., termination, demotion, or exclusion).
- Being physically inappropriate. This includes any unwanted physical contact, such as tickling, touching, brushing, or groping.
- Offering incentives or career advancement in return for sexual favors.
- Speaking to co-workers or employers using inappropriate, demeaning terms or nicknames.
These are just a few examples of the many ways people perpetrate sexual harassment in the workplace. If you have been subjected to any of these behaviors, you deserve justice. It is very likely that the person’s behavior is not an isolated incident. Many survivors of sexual harassment believe that they are alone in their experiences and that their complaints will not be heard. However, it is important to know that your experiences are real, and the person who wronged you deserves to be held responsible.
Whether others choose to come forward about harassment is beyond your control. If you choose to come forward about sexual harassment in the workplace, know that having an advocate can make the process much easier.
Contact the Sexual Harassment Lawyers at Terry Bryant Accident & Injury Law
At Terry Bryant Accident & Injury Law, we understand how difficult life can be for someone who has been subjected to harassment. Regardless of the setting in which the wrongdoing was committed, you deserve to be heard, to have your harassers held accountable and to be given compensation for the losses you have experienced.
When you hire our sexual harassment lawyers, you can be sure we will stand up for your rights. We believe that anyone who has taken advantage of someone or acted inappropriately deserves to be held responsible for what they have done. We offer you our empathy and understanding, and we pledge to do everything in our firm’s power to make sure you get the justice you are entitled to.
Contact Terry Bryant Accident & Injury Law today to speak to our compassionate sexual harassment attorneys in Houston. Call us at (713) 973-8888 or fill out our online contact form to put us to work on your behalf.