What is the best way to approach sexual harassment and a hostile work environment?

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What is the best way to approach sexual harassment and a hostile work environment?

After over a year of reporting sexual harassment, my daughter finally quit after a male co-worker called her a whore while the male manager was in the same room and did not say or do anything. She turned to the manager and stated what the male co-worker had said and the manager walked away without saying anything. She was hurt, angry and scared. She eventually left and stated she was not coming back as she walked out the door. When she called the general manager and told him what happened, he said he would talk to them about it but she was not allowed to return to work.

Asked on December 5, 2011 under Employment Labor Law, Colorado

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Sexual harassment or discrimination is illegal at work--period. From what you write, your daughter's rights were violated and she should have a claim for compensation.

She should speak with an employment law attorney. She may be able to sue for the equivalent of several month's salary. While she could also contact the EEOC (which is a federal agency) or its state equivalent to file a complaint, the behavior you describe is egregious and long-lasting enough that a lawsuit might be the better route to getting compensation...and in any event, the attorney can also advise your daughter as to whether she should file a complaint with the relevant government agency.


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