Sexual harassment and employment law in Colorado
Of all the areas of employment law, sexual harassment is one of the most sensitive. Sexual harassment in the workplace can impact an employee’s performance at work, which can have emotional and financial repercussions. Victims often feel shame about the situation, and unfortunately this means that sexual harassment often goes unreported. As a result, perpetrators continue their harassing behavior and unjust behavior goes unpunished.
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission defines illegal sexual harassment as:
Unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature…constitutes sexual harassment when…this conduct…affects an individual’s employment…
Legally speaking, sexual harassment can occur in two ways. The first is when an employer bases employment decisions on acceptance of a sexual advance. This type of harassment is known as quid pro quo, which is Latin for “something for something.” A typical example of quid pro quo sexual harassment is when an employer offers a job or promotion only if a person performs a sexual act.
The other way sexual harassment occurs is through a “hostile work environment.” A hostile work environment exists when unwanted sexual advances interfere with your job. Some examples include:
- repeated requests for sexual favors,
- the display of sexual images,
- unwanted touching,
- sexual remarks or jokes, and
- physical restraint.
What to do if you are a victim of sexual harassment
If you have been subjected to unwanted sexual attention at work and it has affected your job, please contact the Law Office of Paul Maxon. We can discretely work with you to determine your rights and help make the law work in your favor. Call us now at 303.473.9999 to schedule your consultation.