Do I have a sexual harassment case

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Do I have a sexual harassment case

My boss made comments about my body at
work when we were alone together and
called me an inappropriate name.

Asked on May 3, 2019 under Employment Labor Law, Oregon


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

That appears to be sexual harassment: unwanted sexual or sexually-based (e.g. on an employee's body) is generally sexually harassment. This your boss, but is he THE boss, or are there persons above him in the company, who could hold him accountable? If there are persons who could order him to stop this (or punish him if he won't), you have to give them a chance to act before there is a sexuall harassment claim: a company cannot stop someone from acting inappropriately the first time, but they can take reasonable steps to stop harassment from recurring, and it's a failure to take such steps that the company can be held liable for. So if your boss is not the owner or president, you have to report his behavior to HR or upper management, as appropriate, and if the behavior repeats after that without the company taking some action to stop it, you'd have a sexual harassment claim.
If your boss is the boss, you don't have to give them such an opportunity, since there is no one to hold him accountable or take steps to prevent harassment; you would have a claim once the top boss harasses you.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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