If I’m getting sexually harrassed at work, what needs to happen in order to sue?

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If I’m getting sexually harrassed at work, what needs to happen in order to sue?

I started a new job and a co-worker continues to make remarks about my body, grab me, touch me inappropriately, whisper and say dirty things to me. My job doesn’t really “care” about their employees. For example, we work 8 hours straight and only get breaks if we smoke cigarettes, which I do not. Do I have ground to speak to someone? I don’t know what to do.

Asked on April 20, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, Pennsylvania

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Sexual harassment is against the law. If employers do not address the issue when first raised, you could either sue the empoyer for sex-based discrimation or harassment, or else file a complaint with your state equal rights or civil rights commission/agency. If your employer retaliates against you for bringing such a complaint, that is illegal, too, and also gives rise to a cause of action. If you haven't yet complained to management or HR, you probably should, since they may surprise and take the complaint seriously; and if they don't, you would seem to have grounds to take legal action or file a complaint.


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