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Understanding and Confronting Workplace Sexual Harassment in Utah

by | Apr 5, 2024 | Employment Law

Rear view of a male manager sexually harassing a female colleague working on a laptop in an office

Navigating workplace sexual harassment can be overwhelming. In Utah, it is a significantly prevalent yet underreported issue. As expert sexual harassment lawyers in Utah, Shimoda & Rodriguez Law, PC, is committed to helping victims end the cycle of harassment and recover rightful compensation.

Interpreting Sexual Harassment Laws in Utah

Utah state law, through the Utah Antidiscrimination Act, explicitly prohibits any form of employment discrimination, including sexual harassment. In terms of facts and figures, Utah State University reports that 25% of women in Utah have acknowledged experiencing workplace sexual harassment.

However, sexual harassment isn’t limited to interactions between male and female employees. Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender individuals, as well as straight men, are equally susceptible to experiencing harassment. Harassment can take multiple forms, such as offensive advances, sexual visuals, threats, sexual assault, and inappropriate slurs, among others.

Additionally, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 mandates a stringent intolerance towards sexual harassment, irrespective of sex, gender, or sexual orientation. Federal law applies to companies with 15 or more employees.

Protecting Your Rights against Retaliation and Deadlines

A critical reason for underreporting is the fear of retaliation, with 75% of harassment complaints resulting in some form of retaliation. Our firm is committed to ensuring that you face no negative repercussions by standing up against harassment.

It is crucial also to be aware of the deadlines for filing a sexual harassment complaint. It is mandatory to lodge a complaint within 180 days of the last harassment incident with either the EEOC or Utah Labor Commission.

Compensation You Can Receive For Sexual Harassment

Victims of sexual harassment can typically receive three types of compensation as a result of a successful lawsuit:

  1. Economic Damages: This type of compensation is for measurable monetary losses directly tied to the sexual harassment. This may include lost wages and benefits if the victim lost their job or was passed over for promotions due to the harassment, job search costs if they had to seek new employment, and any therapy or medical costs that directly resulted from the sexual harassment.
  2. Non-Economic Damages: These damages aim to compensate for the pain and suffering a victim has endured due to the harassment. It can include compensation for emotional distress, anxiety, depression, reduction in quality of life, and other psychological effects.
  3. Punitive Damages: These are awarded in cases of particularly abusive or egregious harassment, where the behavior was deliberate, malicious, or particularly harmful. They are intended to punish the offender and deter similar behavior in the future.

Additionally, in many cases, victims can also recover attorney’s fees and legal costs.

Safeguarding Yourself Amidst Workplace Sexual Harassment

The fear of judgment, retaliation, or lack of support can make reporting sexual harassment in the workplace an intimidating prospect, often leading victims to stay silent. However, it is vital to understand that there are efficient strategies to protect yourself when standing against such behavior. Moreover, by addressing your situation, you could be shielding others from experiencing the same distress. Some workplace policies and laws mandate you to report potential sexual harassment, hence knowledge and preparedness are crucial.

The most effective first step towards protecting yourself from harassment is to seek advice from a competent sexual harassment attorney. Guided by their professional expertise, they can assist with forming a defensive strategy and address all your concerns, such as:

  • Evaluating whether the situation legally constitutes sexual harassment.
  • Guiding you on how to respond appropriately to sexual harassment.
  • Advising you on when and how to report harassment.
  • Offering lock-step guidance on how to protect yourself from future harassment or retaliation.
  • Assisting you in preventing employer retaliation for reporting harassment.

Shimoda & Rodriguez Law, PC – Your Ally Against Workplace Sexual Harassment

Sexual harassment is an unfortunate reality in many workplaces. However, no one should endure such breaches of rights and dignity. If you are a victim of workplace sexual harassment or other employment law matters, Shimoda & Rodriguez Law, PC is ready to provide support, help you understand the strength of your case, and represent you with absolute commitment.

Contact us today  for a comprehensive evaluation of your case.

Our office is located at 1414 E. Murray Holladay Road, Holladay, UT 84117. Stand against sexual harassment, and let the justice system work in your favor with Shimoda & Rodriguez Law, PC