To prove that you’re in a “hostile work environment,” in a court case, you’ll need to show a pattern — more than one instance.
A superior could touch you inappropriately or demand some kind of sexual activity, with the implication that your job, a promotion, or some benefit is on the line. That needs to happen only once, to prove what’s called “quid pro quo” harassment.
Either way, an employer with 15 or more workers could be liable under federal law. State laws govern liability for sexual harassment in the workplace at smaller companies.
Employers are legally required to take prompt action when they’re told about harassment of either kind. On your end, you need to take advantage of any remedies at hand to establish your case.
Be sure to document everything, the dates and details of each incident, your response, and how authorities responded. Include incidents that you endured without protest.
To be safe, get a copy of your personnel file before your file a complaint, so you can show positive reviews and the like if you end up being transferred or fired. Keep copies of emails and other documentation outside your workplace. Go up the ladder if you don’t get a satisfactory response.
You can ask an attorney to evaluate your situation for free.
February 27, 2020
Janet O’Dell, RN