Sexual Harassment Claims In Oregon
At Trillium Law, PC, our Beaverton sexual harassment lawyers provide legal counsel and representation to employees who have been victims of unwanted sexual attention or exposed to sexually offensive behavior in a hostile work environment. Employers are responsible for protecting their workers, and may be held liable for sexual harassment committed by their employees whether or not the employee is in a supervisory position.
In some cases employer may also be held liable for sexual harassment committed by non-employees. Any employer who ignores or tolerates sexual harassment and hostile work environment may be held liable to the employee and required to pay punitive damages and attorney’s fees.
Sexual harassment in Oregon is defined as unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, or conduct of a sexual nature (verbal, physical, or visual), that is directed toward an individual because of gender. It can also include conduct that is not sexual in nature but is gender-related. Sexual harassment includes both the harassment of the same or of the opposite sex.
The most common types of workplace sexual harassment are Quid Pro Quo (latin for “this for that”) and hostile work environment. Quid Pro Quo implies the terms and requirements of employment are contingent upon the employee’s acceptance and willingness to engage in sexual favors and/or a relationship. Hostile work environment sexual harassment refers to situations where the employee’s work environment is made intimidating, hostile, or offensive due to the unwelcome sexual conduct and the conduct unreasonably interferes with the employee’s work performance. This includes unwanted sexual advances by a fellow employee. Both types are unlawful under both state and federal law.
Some examples of workplace sexual harassment include:
- Repeated sexual comments or innuendos
- Inappropriate touching, hugging, pinching, patting, etc.
- Pressure from a co-worker or supervisor to become romantically involved
- Sexually inappropriate social media posts, text messages, emails, or phone messages
- Supervisor giving or withholding promotions in exchange for sexual favors.