Sexual Harassment

Sexual harassment happens far too often, and it occurs mostly in the workplace. The most common place sexual harassment occurs is in the workplace. If you have been the victim of sexual harassment at work, the sexual harassment attorneys at Lopez & DeFilippo are here to fight for you.

What is Sexual Harassment?

It is a form of sexual discrimination that is contrary to Title VII of the Civil rights act of 1964. Sexual harassment can take many forms but most likely it will be requests for sexual favors, unwanted sexual advances or similar conduct of a sexual nature that may negatively affect a person’s employment because the employee rejected the unwelcome conduct or submitted to it.  This behavior will often interfere with the victim’s work performance and can create what is known as a “hostile work environment” for the victim. Title VII of the civil rights act of 1964 applies to workplaces with no less than 15 employees, including branches of government. 

Sex-Based Discrimination | U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (

Types of work place sexual harassment

Harassment can be divided into two categories, quid pro quo and hostile work environment harassment.  Quid pro quo, is the legal term for “if you do this, I’ll do that”. This occurs when an employer or supervisor requests a sexual favor in exchange for employment or advancement within the company. In a hostile work environment, the harassing conduct is persistent and severe enough that a reasonable person would consider the conduct to be abusive, hostile, or intimidating.

Microsoft PowerPoint – State of Florida Sexual Harassment Awareness Training.ppt (

How do I know if the conduct in my workplace is sexual harassment? 

All of these descriptions of conduct have been considered to be sexual harassment, are you experiencing any of the following at your workplace? The sad truth is that most people have experienced at least one.

  • Inappropriate touching
  • Crude or sexual remarks or jokes
  • Request for sexual favors
  • Unwelcome sexual advances
  • Verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature
  • Making crude or sexual remark

What to do if I have been the victim of sexual harassment?

First make sure you document the situation. The more documentation relating to the harassment the more likely your claim will be successful. Tell the harasser to stop. File a complaint with a supervisor at your workplace or the human resources department. If the conduct does not stop or you believe that your employer knew about the harassment all along and did nothing to stop it, you should contact the workplace harassment attorneys at Lopez & DeFilippo today. We will listen to your case confidentially and guide you through the difficult time you are facing.

The law is specific regarding liability for employers, supervisors, and nonsupervisory employees, in reference to workplace sexual harassment.

Under Title VII an employer can be liable only if they are “a person engaged in an industry affecting commerce who has fifteen or more employees for each working day in each of twenty or more calendar weeks in the current or preceding calendar year, and any agent of such a person”

This employer is always liable for the harassment of supervisors that results in termination, failure to promote, failure to hire, and lost wages. But, if the supervisor’s harassment results in a hostile work environment, the employer can avoid liability only if it can prove that

1. The employer reasonably tried to prevent and promptly correct the harassing behavior;


2. The employee unreasonably failed to take advantage of any preventive or corrective opportunities provided by the employer.

Nonsupervisory employees, contractors, and customers can be responsible for sexual harassment in the workplace. If this is the case, the employer can still be liable for this, if the employer knew, or should have known about the harassment and failed to take prompt and appropriate corrective action.

Why hire Lopez & DeFilippo? Our sexual harassment attorneys are committed to providing comprehensive personalized representation and we have the resources and skills to aggressively fight to recover the compensation you deserve.