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Your rights at it relates to filing a sexual harassment claim

Sexual harassment under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, is a form of sexual discrimination. The Act is applicable to those companies, including state and local governments and agencies, that have 15 or more employees.

Sexual harassment results when your employment and/or work performance is negatively impacted as a result of unwelcomed sexual advances. Actions considered harassment include requests for sexual favors and/or inappropriate physical or verbal behavior, which can also create a hostile work environment .

Although it can take a variety of different forms, the perpetrator or victim of the sexual harassment can be either male or female, of the same or opposite gender. Harassers can be a variety of different people including co-workers, non-employees, supervisors, an agent of the company or a supervisor from another department.

Victims of sexual harassment do not necessarily have to be the person who was harassed. They may be someone who was negatively impacted as the result of the harassment. The harassment does not have to result in economic loss or termination. The harassment must, however, be unwelcomed.

To help establish a sexual harassment claim, it is helpful to have directly told the egregious party that his or her actions are unwelcomed. The individual must also have informed the instigator of his or her desire for those actions to cease and desist.

There are certain circumstances in which you are eligible to take action against an employer under Title VII. These include situations in which you are discriminated against by an employer as the result of informing the employer of the sexual harassment or because you filed a sexual harassment suit.

If you or someone you know has been the victim of sexual harassment in the workplace, there are potential legal remedies in place to address such discrimination. The advice and counsel of an experienced Michigan employment law attorney may help direct you as to the best course of action to maximize your compensation.

Source: U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, "Facts about sexual harrassment," accessed Jan. 27, 2017

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