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Why Workplace Sexual Harassment Claims Tend To Be Complicated

Sexual harassment is a serious allegation that can result in civil lawsuits, workers compensation claims, and even criminal charges. That's why you should only expect to succeed with a sexual harassment claim if you can prove your allegations. Here are three factors that usually complicate sexual harassment claims:

Evidence Is Usually Circumstantial

The easiest way to prove sexual harassment in the workplace is by using direct evidence. Direct evidence comes in the form of explicit videos, texts, messages, emails and other media that you can preserve. Witnesses' testimonies also help to strengthen such claims.

Unfortunately, such direct forms of evidence are usually hard to come by. In many cases, the aggressor commits their heinous acts when they are alone with the victim. For example, a boss may harass a secretary when the two are working late alone, or a delivery employee may harass their partner when they are out on the road alone. In such cases, it usually boils down to the victim's word against the aggressor, which doesn't make such a strong claim.

The Issue of the Totality of Circumstances

Although there are legal definitions of what constitutes sexual harassment, the actual determination of whether a particular conduct constitutes sexual harassment depends on the totality of the circumstances. The severity of the conduct, context of the situation, frequency, and the specific facts must be examined to reach a conclusion. In short, no single factor can prove, on its own, that a certain conduct is sexual harassment.

Unfortunately, this can create problems if you feel that an aggressor's sexually harassed you, but others disagree. This is even more so because many cases of sexual harassment aren't explicit; subtle forms of harassment in the form of glances, gestures or comments may not reach the required threshold.

Late Reporting

It is unfortunate that many victims of sexual harassment in the workplace don't take immediate measures to end the vice. Some try to wish it away, hoping that ignoring the aggressor would be enough to stop the harassment. Other victims only report the aggressions when they become too serious because they are financially vulnerable and fear that they may lose their livelihood if the aggressor is a senior person in the company.

Unfortunately, making a late report hurts your case because your company may only be liable for misconducts it knew about. It may argue that it had appropriate measures to help you, but it couldn't because it never knew about the harassment.

It's best to approach a sexual harassment claim with the assistance of a lawyer. An experienced attorney like those found at Vandeventer Black LLP can help you navigate through the complications above and get the legal remedy you deserve.

About Me

Choosing The Perfect Counsel

If you have ever been accused of a crime, then you know the absolute sinking feeling in your gut. It can be incredibly devastating to cope with the thought of living the rest of your life behind bars, which is why choosing the perfect counsel is crucial. I started thinking about who to work with a few years ago when I was accused of something that I knew I didn't do, and it was scary. However, I knew that by focusing on my innocence and finding the right professional, things would be manageable. Check out this blog for great information on choosing counsel.

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