Sexual harassment takes many different forms–and is always illegal. Sexual harassment includes conduct that is sexual in nature as well as harassment based on an employee’s sex or gender. Sexual harassment can be perpetrated by men or women, and includes harassment by a member of the same sex.
Sexual harassment also includes a supervisor, manager or boss using a position of power to coerce or force an employee to give into sexual advances or requests. This is called “quid pro quo” sexual harassment, which means basing an employment decision on sexual conduct or sexual advances.
Sexual harassment becomes illegal if it leads to an employee being terminated or demoted, or experiencing some other form of adverse employment action. Sexual harassment is also illegal when it is unwelcome and either severe or pervasive. These are legal terms that essentially mean ongoing, repeated sexual harassment is prohibited, and even a single, severe instance of sexual harassment violates the law.
If you report sexual harassment at work, you are protected from retaliation, meaning your employer cannot take action against you because you report sexual harassment.
If you believe you have experienced sexual harassment or would like additional information about your employment rights, please do not hesitate to contact us. Teske Katz Kitzer & Rochel is a leader in protecting employees from sexual harassment and strives to ensure employees across Minnesota are free from all forms of sexual harassment at work. Our employment attorneys will be happy to discuss your situation with you to help you understand your legal rights and options.