The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission reports that they get over 12,000 workplace sexual harassment complaints each year. While most of the complaints are filed by women, men may also be the victims of harassment.
Isolated crude remarks or occasional teasing don’t typically lead to harassment, but the South Carolina Human Affairs Commission says that the following conduct is deemed harassment:
- Any request for sexual favors
- Unwelcome sexual advances
- Other verbal and sexual harassment that leads to a hostile working environment
If you have suffered from sexual harassment while at work, you need to know what your rights are. An experienced sexual harassment attorney can help you determine if you have a valid claim and whether you should take steps to protect your rights.
Sexual Harassment and Quid Pro Quo
One of the types of sexual harassment is known as quid pro quo. This is when a supervisor, co-worker, or even a client makes a sexual advance and/or asks for a sexual favor in return for special treatment at work. The one making the advances may even threaten to punish the victim if they refuse. To prove a quid pro quo claim, the victim must be able to show the following:
- The incident occurred during the victim’s working hours and not in a non-working social setting.
- The harasser promised or threatened to take action that was related to work.
- The harasser that made the promise or threat is in a position to make good on their statements.
Filing a Sexual Harassment Lawsuit in S.C.
If you believe that you have been the victim of sexual harassment at work, you need to report the incident to your employer. If reporting the incident doesn’t have any effect on the situation, the South Carolina Human Affairs Law may offer you a way to get relief. This will require you to file a lawsuit and take the following steps.
- File a complaint – You will need to file a formal complaint with the EEOC or the SCHAC. This complaint must be filed within 180 days of the incident to protect your right to file in South Carolina courts, or within 300 days to protect your right to file in federal court.
- Participate in an investigation – Whichever agency you file the complaint with will perform an investigation. This may include the review of employment records, subpoenaing documents, and interviewing witnesses. You need to cooperate with the investigation but should seek the advice of an attorney when doing so.
- Attend a hearing – A hearing may be conducted by the SCHAC and you may be required to go. This will take place in front of a panel that will reach a conclusion regarding the incident.
- File a lawsuit – If you have exhausted your other options, you will have the right to pursue other relieve in state or federal court. Such a lawsuit must be filed within 90 days of the receipt of a right to sue letter from the EEOC.
Contact a South Carolina Sexual Harassment Attorney Today
No one should ever have to suffer sexual harassment at work. If you believe that you have been a victim of this behavior, you need to seek the legal advice of an experienced attorney. The attorneys at David Aylor Law Offices will advise you of your rights and take steps to help you protect them. Contact our office today to schedule a consultation.