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How does Ohio and federal law view sexual harassment?

| Nov 30, 2020 | Employment Law |

Sadly, it’s not uncommon for workers to face sexual harassment in their Ohio workplaces. Some employees don’t report what happens to them because they fear their employer letting them go or taking some other type of reprisal against them. Others don’t step forward and say anything because they’re unsure what constitutes sexual harassment and thus whether there’s any point to reporting what happened. It can help you know what falls under this umbrella and what you can do if a colleague violates your rights.

What is sexual harassment?

Ohio Administrative Code 123:1-49, Ohio Revised Code 4112.02 and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 all outline how the two government entities define sexual harassment. 

These statutes describe how any workers treated with hostility may have a valid sexual harassment claim in a few different instances. They may do so if a colleague makes either implicit or explicit requests for sexual favors or unwanted advances toward them. Any gender-based discrimination such as offensive or intimidating actions may fall under the umbrella of sexual harassment as well. 

What are some common misconceptions about sexual harassment claims?

Many workers believe that they can only file a sexual harassment claim if the alleged perpetrator of such acts is a supervisor or the opposite gender. Both of these are incorrect assumptions, though. 

You don’t need to be demoted or fired to sue a colleague or your employer for sexual harassment, either. State and federal laws protect workers from having to work within a hostile work environment. You can file a sexual harassment claim whether you ultimately suffered any economic damages as a result of your treatment or not. 

What should you do if a colleague harasses you?

A colleague or manager has no right to sexually harass you, no matter whether you two were previously in a relationship with one another or what leadership role the individual holds. You should let anyone who gives you unwelcome attention know that you’re unaccepting of it. You should put your complaints in writing and follow your employer’s protocol for reporting such matters. If you want to know what your rights are in your Dayton employment matter, then a sexual harassment attorney familiar with Ohio and federal laws can go over such details.