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Toledo Sexual Harassment Lawyer

What is Sexual Harassment?

Sexual harassment describes inappropriate sexual conduct in a workplace or a professional or social situation. Sexual harassment affects all sexes and can come in many different forms, including (but not limited to):


  • Demanding sexual favors
  • Inappropriate staring
  • Offensive comments about an employee’s looks, clothing, or body
  • Telling sexual jokes and making sexual gestures
  • Inappropriate touching, including pinching, patting, or brushing up against an employee on purpose
  • Sharing and/or soliciting sexually suggestive notes, letters, emails, and images to employees


Under Title VII, there are 2 types of sexual harassment cases. These types of cases require different assertions and items that must be proven for a case to prevail in court.


1. Quid Pro Quo Sexual Harassment Cases

Quid pro quo (Latin for “this for that”) sexual harassment is when an employee’s employment, benefits, pay, position, job title, and/or advancement opportunities are held hostage on the condition of sexual advances or favors. Quid pro quo sexual harassment is illegal, regardless of these advances or favors are explicitly stated or implicitly stated.


Proving Quid Pro Quo Sexual Harassment Claims

Employees must be able to assert and prove the following items if their quid pro quo sexual harassment case is to prevail:


  • They are a member of a protected class;
  • They were subjected to unwanted sexual harassment in the forms of advances or requests for sexual favors;
  • The harassment was sex-based;
  • Employees were forced into submitting to sexual advances or favors due to either expressed or implied conditions that they would lose job benefits, advancement opportunities, and/or pay if they did not comply (and if they did not submit to advances or favors, they experienced the loss of or were denied of these benefits); and
  • The actions and conduct and be attributed to the employer. This means if the employer was informed of the harassment and failed to take action, they can be held liable.


2. Hostile Work Environment Sexual Harassment Cases

Hostile work environment sexual assault is when an employee experiences sexual harassment (i.e., unwanted advances, offensive sexual jokes or gestures, receives suggestive messages and images, etc.) to the degree it creates a hostile work environment that negatively affects their job performance.


Proving Hostile Work Environment Sexual Harassment Claims

Employees must assert and prove that the conduct:


  • Was unwelcome;
  • Based on their sex;
  • Was pervasive and severe enough to create an abusive work environment and affected their work performance; and
  • Can be attributed to the employer.


Courts examine 3 factors when determining whether the sexual harassment created a hostile work environment:


  1. Whether the conduct was severe enough to alter the conditions of employment;
  2. If the conduct was offensive to the victim; and
  3. Whether the conduct would be offensive to a reasonable person.


Contact a Toledo Sexual Harassment Lawyer

If you are experiencing sexual harassment at your job, contact a Toledo sexual harassment lawyer. Bryant Legal, LLC can help you put an end to sexual harassment. Should the sexual harassment continue, we will come up with a plan to help you leave work while preserving your claims. If you have been terminated or experienced retaliation for reporting sexual harassment, contact our Toledo office immediately by calling us at 419-824-4439, emailing attorney Matthew Bryant mbryant@bryantlegalllc.com, or filling out our contact form.

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